Thursday, 14 August 2014

 It's August Already!

Well, even for me this has been quite a blogging lapse...I'd like to think that I haven't blogged because so much has happened, but that wouldn't really be true!

To rectify this, I'm just going to post some pictures that give a few highlights of life. The first few are memorable days; the next lot are our recent trip to Liverpool where we got to watch LFC play Borussia Dortmund in a friendly match and then did a stadium tour the following day. A challenging weekend for Chris (an Arsenal fan), but perfect for me and Amy!  As I do a lot of knitting, I'm on Ravelry quite a lot (I'm aliknits1509). I joined the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup on there a while ago, and have taken part in the various knitting challenges they set up. A lot of the smaller projects on here are from that, the blanket is something a lot of us at The Wool Sanctuary Knit Club have been making- it's the Martin Storey Mystery Afghan KAL in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. I'm on the final week now, so only have 6 squares to knit plus the edging! Finally at the bottom are pictures of some furniture upcycling we've been doing. Since Chris was made redundant last November he's been trying out different things...this is one thing he's enjoyed doing!

Amy with her medals at the Welsh Open in May

Me and Chris at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol on my birthday in June
For Chris' birthday I bought him an archery and...

Segway experience which we all did- great fun!

Me and Amy on the Kop at Anfield
Add caption
Touching the famous sign on the way to the pitch
Amy meeting Jose Enrique LFC player
Me at the Liver Building

Amy & Chris at The Cavern Club

'Sally' top that I started months ago...
Part of my Rowan mystery blanket KAL

Opal Shawl
More of the Rowan KAL

still more...
penultimate week of the KAL

Owl puff

Preemie hat for charity

Shabby chic dresser #1 ours!!
Shabby chic dresser #3 for sale!
Shabby chic dresser #2 for sale

Finally, I had to concede defeat with the Push Up challenge. I made it to day 193 in July, but missed a day when I was ill, so am out! I'm pleased I made it that far though!!

I am so frustrated with this blog! I remember the reason I haven't blogged for so long now...none of the pictures line up properly and I can't add text other than captions between the photos to talk about them. If anyone is reading this, I hope you get an idea of what we've been up to!

Saturday, 8 February 2014


I have finally finished my 'Garden Gate Vest' by Vera Sanon knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Aran. I don't know why it took so long (other than being interrupted by scarf knitting for Christmas) as it was a very easy knit. It felt like the sewing up took longer...I procrastinated for a long time before finally working out how to do mattress stitch- thank-you You Tube! The photo isn't great as the weather is too dull to model it, but I didn't want to wait!

I've also bought the pattern and yarn for my next project, the 'Sally' top by Lisa Richardson in the new Rowan magazine (No 55) in Handknit Cotton. I'm going for a purple/dusky pink combo which I hope will look good... Amy has a gym competition next weekend, so I'm hoping to get it underway for then!

I have also finally found a new home for my Suzie Johnson knitted house collection. We needed a new coat rack in the hallway as the coats were hung right up against a wall which was going mouldy as there was no air circulation. The solution was for Chris to fashion a little shelf with a bar (for hanging saucepans on!) underneath so we can hang the coats on little 'S' hooks. The shelf looked quite empty until my row of cottages moved in and now it looks complete. Happy days!

We went to see Frank Turner in Cardiff during the week, it was a great show! I don't know how we managed to be unaware of him for so long, even after he sang at the opening ceremony for London 2012...but at least we're on board now. If you've not heard of him before, have a listen to his album 'Tapedeck Heart' - it's great.

Lastly, I have bragging rights in the house (at least until next weekend) as Liverpool (my team) just beat Arsenal (Chris' team) 5-1...whoop whoop!!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Hello Stranger!

So, it turns out that I'm not very good at blogging! I can't seem to get the hang of a) making it work properly b) keeping it up-to-date and c) knowing if it's even worth doing at no-one reads it!

If there is actually anyone out there reading this, let me know!

Since I last posted, a number of months have passed and a new year is well underway. I have managed to complete a number of projects, which always feels good!

Ray of Light scarf/ shawl for me, designed by Suzie Johnson

Modified 'Opal' scarf by Kim Hargreaves made my my Auntie Susan

A Gryffindor Scarf modelled by my husband, knitted for a friend

A Ravenclaw scarf knitted for Amy for her birthday

I've also very nearly finished my 'Garden Gate Vest', it just needs some good light for me to complete the sewing up. With so much finished, I've also started a new project, yet another one designed by Suzie Beans (The Wool Sanctuary), a teacosy which is coming along nicely (the photo is out of date as I've almost finished the first side).

As always, I've already selected my next project, which I found on Dayana Knits' blog- It's going to be the Rowan 'Sally' top from issue 55, although I haven't selected my colours yet. I'll do that at the next Knit Club.

I've decided that this year, I'm going to try to make everyone I give birthday gifts to a small hand-made something as well as their 'main' present. This isn't likely to work out for the men unless they get baked goodies. The first recipient of a handmade gift has been my friend Sara. I gave her one of the tissue holders that I made at Christmas (my Mum got one for Christmas too):

I've recently added to my vintage china collection, but alas, still can't find a teapot to 'match' it. I'll keep looking though, one will turn up eventually. I have convinced Chris that we need to change the furniture in our dining room, including buying an old dresser to display my goodies on, so that's progress!

Finally, I've made myself tow new year challenges. One seemed easy when I joined up, but will be very tough...I'm doing the Peter Reed (the Olympic Rower) 2014 Push Up challenge. On 1st Jan there was 1 push up, then on 2nd 2, 3rd 3 etc. Now it's February 1st and I've done 32 push ups today. I'm not thinking of the start of April when it will be more than 100 a day just yet! My other challenge is to make my walks more interesting by achieving a goal.  I've decided to do this by walking each road in the 'old' part of my town and proving this by taking photos of the street names as I 'bag' them. I'm getting to see roads I've never walked along before, and have decided that I far prefer the old street signs I encounter, rather than their modern replacements. This is one of my favourites so far:

Who knows, I may even expand out into the newer part of the town if this goes well!

That's it for now...remember, if you've read this, please leave a note to let me might just keep me at it!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

There goes the summer...

Wow, this year is really flying by. September is here and although the weather is still good, the evenings are definitely drawing in. We even had our first Sunday Roast today, as we don't have them through the summer!

I've now finished knitting my 'Hitchhiker Scarf' by Martini Behm ( and I love it. I made it using Rowan Cashsoft 4ply and it took just over 3 balls.

I've now started on a pair of socks, my first ever attempt! The design is 'Charlie Chocolate' by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary ( and although it's designed as a pair of stripy socks, I'm using a variegated sock yarn by KnitGlobal called 'Harvest'. I'm really pleased with sock one and have just cast on sock two!

Hopefully they'll be finished soon and I'll photograph them properly.

We've spent quite a bit of time in Bristol this summer, doing 'The Gromit Trail' around the city. Sadly it finishes next week and I don't think I'll get chance to see any more, but I've managed 64 of the 80! My favourite is Gromberry I think, although they've all been brilliant. It's been a great way to see parts of the City that are slightly off the beaten track and so good to see so many other people, young and old, also following the trail.

Me with the 'Stat's the way to do it, Lad!' Gromit outside Aardman Animations
Well that's it for now, I'll be back when my first pair of socks are finished!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Well, another month has gone by...the year is disappearing fast!

I've been busy with the knitting needles this month and have finished two projects!

Firstly is my 2nd Debbie Bliss Striped Baby Blanket, for Ed (who works with Chris) and his wife Kelly. Their first baby was due towards the end of this month, but actually appeared a week or so early, so I hadn't finished the blanket in time. As we've just had a heatwave, I hope I can be forgiven. Congratulations on the safe arrival of Olivia!!

Baby blanket knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

My second project was the Edwin Cream Hand warmers designed by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary that I started a while ago. I just finished them this morning! They're my first pair and probably won't be the last! I also have an idea about a scarf to match them, but that's not near the top of my 'to do' list yet!

Edwin Creams knitted in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply

Away from knitting, we've been into Bristol a few times 'Gromit spotting' around the city. There's 80 Gromits around this summer, mostly in Bristol, and all decorated by different artists. They're being auctioned later in the year to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital. My favourite so far is 'Where's Wallace?' but as we've only got 27 out of the 80 so far, that may chage over the summer!

'Where's Wallace?' Gromit

In the garden, things have been growing quite well. Everything was a bit late because of the cold spring, but the heat over the last few weeks has made everything bloom. I've picked about 4lbs of raspberries which are now in the freezer waiting for me to make jam; dozens of strawberries which don't hang around long enough to do anything with, they just get eaten; lots of cucumbers and the beans are just starting to come, so soon there will be broad beans, climbing french beans and runner beans; oh, there's courgettes and tomatoes soon to!

Today's crop of cucumbers!

Finally, we had our family photo session that my brother and I got for our parent's 45th wedding anniversay last September. The photos were taken by Lee Hatherall, and I'm really pleased with them, hope Mum and Dad are too!

The family
Mum and Dad with their grand-daughters
Amy, Chris and me
My brother, David, and niece, Evie
I guess we don't scrub up too badly sometimes!

That's it for to find a new knitting project!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

June News

The start of June saw a gym competition for Amy, the Welsh Open Aerobic Gymnastic Competition at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff. Normally she'd be part of a trio, but for this competition the routine was adapted for two of them to do as a pair as one girl was away. This time it didn't quite go to plan on the day so no medals, but it was a good experience still, although Amy was pretty down for a while afterwards. We did get some nice shots though (thanks to Dave and Sam!)

Amy doing one of the elements in her routine, a hinge wenson!

Straddle lever, another element

The following day I did a 10 mile sponsored walk for out local hospice with a friend who lost her husband to cancer two and a half years ago. It was a beautiful day, quite emotional at times, but well worth the effort, the views across the Mendips were amazing. If we could guarantee the weather for next year, I'd sign up again now!

Me and Moira

Yesterday was horrible weather, cold, high winds and on/off must be the Airday! Fortunately the show still took place with different aircraft flying all afternoon. I only managed to catch the last hour, but this hour had the highlights, the last flight of the Vulcan Bomber, which never ceases to amaze me (surely it's too big to be airborne?) and the Red Arrows which I love. They are fantastic pilots, especially when you realise just how windy it was and how low the cloud base was!

Vulcan Bomber
Vulcan Bomber over Brean Down
Vulcan Bomber leaving Weston - forever!
The Red Arrows

I've managed to get a bit of knitting done too, I'm over half way through my 'Edwin Creams' handwarmers by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary and have just started on another Debbie Bliss striped baby blanket, for friends of Chris, Ed & Kelly, who are expecting their first baby, a girl, next month. Better get a move on with that!

Edwin Creams knitted in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply (in grey)

Just needs sewing up

The start of the blanket, there's a lot more knitting to do here! Knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Well, that's about it for to do some more knitting as the weather is still nasty!