Wednesday 26 October 2022

A this and that post

The Christmas Eve Wishes blanket CAL started last Thursday.  I completed my first section over the weekend.  I was worried about working the bobble stitch on this section, I needn't have, the video tutorial was excellent and loved working them, the second photos shows the back of the work.  The second part will be released tomorrow morning, that week's gone so quick, it's the section with the snowflakes this week.

It's half term here this week, Jenny has this week off with the boys and Joanne has got the next three days off with Bonnie so I've only had nanny duties two days this week.  We went to the zoo on Monday, me Jenny and the four children.  The rain held off until we stopped for lunch and stopped again as we were finishing eating, so that was lucky.  Here are a few photos from our day.

(Bonnie has a blue tongue because she had just eaten a blue bubblegum lolly pop)

Yesterday Bonnie was here with me, (Jacob was at nursery).  She helped me in the garden getting all the leaves up, she filled a basket with acorns and a bucket with sticks and twigs, that saved my back from all the bending, lol.  The leaves have started falling very fast now, the garden was all tidy when we finished, well as tidy as it can be in Autumn, but when I looked out this morning you would never know I'd done anything!  It's a continual battle this time of year, I filled our green bin plus one bin liner yesterday, luckily we have six extra green bin collections, so disposal will be much easier this time. 

We've had roadworks in our street all week, they are replacing the gas pipes, what a mess! there is mud everywhere.  Apparently a leak was discovered in the road, guess who's house it was near?  Yeah, had to be mine didn't it!  Myself and a neighbour were without gas for four days because it was over the weekend, and they don't work weekends, apparently.  So they discovered it on Friday and told us, made it safe and it was then left until Monday.  I wasn't too fussed about the heating because it's still quite mild here, we have electric cooker and hob, so cooking wasn't a problem, it's not the weather to have freezing cold showers though , luckily the girls live quite close so we were able to go and have showers there.  They finally re-connected us yesterday morning.  We're not totally convinced there was a leak that wasn't of their making, if there is a gas leak you can smell it, and there was no smell before they started working.  Don't suppose we will ever find out for sure though.
They have filled the holes now, just waiting for the tarmacers to come and make it all good.

After two busy days I'm going to have an easy one today, all my daily jobs are done so I'm going to sit and have a coffee and catch up on some Vlogtober videos.  It's stitching group tonight, book club on Thursday and I have another class on Friday morning, which I haven't told you about but will soon, so a busy week all-round for a change. 


Tuesday 18 October 2022

Anyone else taking part in this CAL?

 Were having some lovely Autumn days here at the moment, I've just come to sit in the conservatory to have my coffee and enjoy the sunshine.  It's still warm enough to sit in the conservatory at the moment, and I'm making the most of it, and of course taking advantage of natures heating source while we still can.  We haven't put the heating or the fire on yet, If It goes a bit chilly in the evening having a water bottle by me and an extra layer has helped take the chill off.  At the moment our bills are fine, we have only been using around half as much as we pay in each month so there are reserves for when we start using more in the Winter.  Mark submits a metre reading each month and it's annoying when almost every month the utility company send him an email saying they are increasing our direct debit, they can clearly see we are paying more than enough, with money in reserve, Mark calls them and say no, we are not increasing on your say so, if needs be we will increase it, but I wonder how many people just either don't pick up on the fact their monthly payment has gone up, or don't know that they can call and refuse to pay what the company are asking for?  These companies are making millions, and as I see it my money is better in my bank, not theirs making them yet more money!  Sorry for the little rant there 😉

I didn't come here to talk about bills and the cost of living, I came here to tell you about a CAL I'm going to be taking part in.  

I was vaguely aware of this blanket in July when there was a Christmas in July CAL but there was too much going on over the Summer to think about taking part but, a couple of weeks ago I saw that there was another CAL starting on October 20th, so I ordered the yarn for it.

The Christmas Eve Wishes Blanket  (CAL)
Photo below curtesy of Madebyanita blog

Various online shops are selling the kit for it but I purchased mine separately from Wool Warehouse, there was hardly any difference in price doing it like that but places selling kits were selling out really quickly and I wanted to make sure I had everything ready to go on the start date.  I believe there are two other colour options, a blue and a pink, but to me, red and green shout Christmas.

If you are interested in making this beautiful blanket too there is a group in the Sirdar make along group on fb, although you don't have to join the group because all the details are on the blog Madebyanita she will also be posting the weekly pattern releases on her blog, oh, and the pattern is FREE.  How generous is that!

I can't wait to get started on Thursday, I haven't done any crochet in a while and there will be some stitches I'm not familiar with, also, I've never done colour changing in crochet but apparently there will be photo/video tutorials so It should be doable.  Let me know if you are taking part in this CAL too.

October means the beginning of the birthday season for us, we have NINE family birthdays between now and the end of December, starting with Oliver's yesterday.

The wonderful boy that made me a nanny is 10 years old

He's growing up far too quickly!

We went to Pizza Hut for a birthday treat along with his cousins, they had a lovely, (if noisy) time.


Monday 10 October 2022

Hello Suzannah, long time no see

Before I forget...I seemed to have caused some confusion last time when I mentioned a jacket potato.  It never occured to me that some of you wouldn't have a clue as to what I was talking about, sorry.   A couple of people asked if it was the same as a baked potato, and indeed it is!  I think years ago we also used to refer to them as a baked potato too, but generally now they are called Jackets Potatoes.
There hasn't been an awful lot of stitching going on this year, I just didn't have the inclination to work on anything, but, as part of my effort to be a bit more sociable I decided at the end of August that I would start to go to the stitching group again.  This is the same stitching group I set up many years ago, I'm happy to say it's still going strong, with some of the same people still going who came to that very first meeting.  It was lovely to see and be amongst like minded people again and it was what I needed to get me stitching again.

I chose to get Suzannah out of hibernation to take with me.  You may or may not remember seeing her here before, It's been a long time.  I started her on 28th April 2019 when I went to a Nimble Thimble meet-up and then worked on her quite a lot when we went away for a week in early May that year.  

The last time I shared any progress, and also the last time I worked on her was 3 years ago, 
October 2019.  
This is how poor neglected Suzannah looked when she came out of hibernation.

And this is her now

Must not forget to stitch her eyes!

I'm really happy with the progress I'm making, I don't stitch every day but do try to give her a couple of days attention each week.


A few weekends ago, when Mark was home, we went to the Autumn Show at the Three Counties Show Ground in Malvern.  We were both very pleasantly surprised at how good it was, there was so much to see and do, there were stalls and marquees selling everything from plants and gifts to garden ornaments and clothes.  There was a dog show, vintage caravans, (loved those!), vintage trucks and cars and for the kids, a vintage fairground and pets corner which had giant turtles, for a small fee you could go in and get among them.
There was a 'Best In Show' for flowers and plants and, my favourite, the giant vegetables.  There were cauliflowers as big as your head, leeks and rhubarb as long as your leg and pumpkins big enough to be made into Cinderella's carriage!  It was all wonderful, the weather was brilliant and we had a fantastic day.

I hope you can get a sense of how big these are, it's difficult to capture on photos.  
I'd like to know how on earth they are able to grow something this big! and how did they then transport it here 🤔 No surprise that this one won, it was huge!

 I'm on Nanny duty picking the boys up from school this afternoon so I'm off now to have something to eat and a cuppa before it's time to go.  I hope you are all well and having a lovely Monday.


Tuesday 4 October 2022

Previous to October

And just like that, we are in October, I have no idea what happened to September, It seemed to be here and gone in the blink of an eye.  There has been so much going on that I have not blogged about and to catch up in one post would be too much, I'll have to try and catch up over a few posts.

I did eventually finish my Whitmore sweater.  You may remember me saying at the beginning of July that I only had the sleeves to knit, well they were done during July and it was washed and blocked while we had all that lovely warm weather.

The light was fading when I took these photos so the colour looks a little washed out, it's a much nicer colour in real life.

I'm really happy with it and would love to knit another one sometime.  We're not quite into jumper wearing weather at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get the wear it pretty soon.

I also finished two more pairs of socks.

These are knit in West Yorkshire Spinners, the colourway is Goldfinch with a contrast heels, toes and cuffs (also WYS).  I didn't bother trying to match the pair, I think the saying for this among seasoned sock knitters is that they are sisters, not twins 😉

Incidentally, this was the first commercial sock yarn I ever purchased, quite a few years ago now, I saw Julie, (from Julie's stitchyknitter journal) knitting it at a meet up we both attended.  I loved the colourway and bought it soon afterwards, even though I had no idea then how to knit socks!

The next pair were for my daughter, Stevie.  She chose this Regia yarn when we went shopping one Saturday, it's the colourway Strawberry from their Tutti Frutti range.  I didn't realise when we bought it but the yarn is 72% cotton, 18% polyamide and 10% polyester.  It was beautiful to knit with, although when I washed them the colour did run a little in the water.

I knit one sock then there was a period of time before I started the second one, the eagle eyed among you will notice my mistake right away.
I knit 2 x 2 rib on the first sock and 1 x1 on the second one!  I didn't even notice until I had washed them.  I pointed it out to Stevie when I gave them to her and she said, mum, I wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't told me!

Following on from my last post saying that I feel like a recluse, I've been making an effort to get out more.  Weather wise, the last three weekends have been lovely and so on one of the Saturdays when Mark was at work I decided, rather than have a whole weekend rattling around the house by myself I would to take myself off for the day.  I'd been looking at places online and decided on Frome.  It meant a journey of just over 2 hours, but the weather was nice, the roads weren't too busy and It was quite a pleasant and straight forward drive.

Frome town itself is not that big, It's described as a bustling, creative market town, but even though there was a small market on the day I went, It wasn't really bustling.  Apparently there is a larger independant market which happens on the first Sunday in the month, perhaps the atmosphere is different then.  
It does have a couple of quirky streets, namely, St Catherine's Hill and Cheep Street.  Both of these have various independent shops selling a variety of things and are quite picturesque to walk through, you have to mind your step in Cheep Street to avoid stepping into the little waterway that runs down the middle.

Millie Moon is on Catherine Hill and I spent some time in there looking at the lovely fabric, patterns and notions.  I made a small purchase whilst there, which I will tell you the reason for in future blog post.
The lady serving in the shop that day was so lovely and helpful, I'd highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.

After a couple of hours looking round I'd seen all I wanted to so headed back to my car.  I'd passed through Bradford-on-Avon on the way, about six or seven miles from Frome so thought I'd stop off there on the way home.

Not somewhere to go if you want to shop but a really lovely place to take in the scenery.  I walked up to the canal where there is a coffee shop, you can sit outside and watch all the coming and goings of the boats, there were lots of people making the most of the beautiful weather, and I suspect there is also a very pleasant canal walk, although I didn't venture on that as I was alone.

There is also a lovely walk along the River Avon, again I didn't venture too far along, but there were at least a couple of pubs with views of the river.
As I said the town it'self was not somewhere you would head to if you wanted to shop but there were a couple of nice vintage shops I had a browse round and there were a few coffee shops to choose from.  I'd been fancying a jacket potato so I stopped at one around lunch time.  Amongst other things their menu had jacket potato with two fillings, great.  Until I saw the price.  £11. 

Now I know prices have gone up, but £11 for a jacket potato! No way.  I got up and walked out.  Admittedly I waited until the waitress had gone in the back before I made my hasty exit, thereby saving us both the embarrassment of  me being honest and saying it was over-priced.

You will be happy to know though that I didn't go hungry that day, I found another, more reasonably priced coffee shop around the next corner and enjoyed a lovely goats cheese and caramelized onion quiche and salad :-)