Tuesday 30 July 2019

Another New Project

I've only recently told you of A New Cast On and now I've got another.

I won the What Lies Within Socks pattern by Naomi Buchanan in a giveaway hosted by Ali on the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. This pattern comes from the Charmingly Magic Sock Collection which is inspired by the Harry Potter series. This is the second in the collection and is based on the basilisk which lies within the Chamber of Secrets.

I'm using Paperstories Sock Yarn in The Goblin's Revenge colourway which Mick bought me for Christmas 2017. It's such a pretty colour and I think a semi solid colourway will show off the cables in the pattern.

I usually use double pointed needles when I'm knitting in the round but I fancied having a go at magic loop. I've used this method when knitting larger items, such as hats and sleeves, but when I've had a go with it for sock knitting in the past I just couldn't get on with it. Never one to be deterred I decided to have another go so I asked on Instagram for needle recommendations and decided to go with Addi. I'm still not convinced with this method for sock knitting, I seem to be creating a ladder between each of the needles and I don't think my knitting is as neat as it usually is. I've only knit the cuff so far so I'll continue into the pattern and see what I think then. It may be that magic loop is just not for me, we'll see.

So that's two new projects on the needles but I'm not finished yet, there's still another waiting in the wings which I'll tell you about soon.

Saturday 27 July 2019


Eleanor Graduated on Thursday from Nottingham Trent University. She now holds a degree in Biomedical Science.

It was such a hot day, the hottest July day on record. I felt so sorry for all the graduands having to wear their robes and caps.

Eleanor started off with her hair down but it wasn't long before she tied it back to keep her a bit cooler.

After the ceremony there were post ceremony refreshments. We were all in need of something cold and refreshing.

Eleanor hasn't come away from university with just her degree, she also met her boyfriend there. He was her lab partner. Funny that as Daniel met his girlfriend at university too, she was his lab partner!

We were going to go for a meal afterwards to celebrate but we were all just so worn out with the heat, we decided to have a takeaway instead and we'll go out for a meal this weekend. It was a lovely day, despite the temperature, and we couldn't be prouder of Eleanor.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

What I'm Watching - July 2019

TV and film that I've been watching this month.

I was sad to see the end of Gentleman Jack, which I wrote about in my May's roundup, but another great series has taken over the Sunday night spot. This is the final series of Poldark and it promises to go out on a high. I won't give away any spoilers for anyone who hasn't watched the first couple of episodes yet, except to say that I think George is finally losing the plot. Suffice to say that I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

The 16th series of Who Do You Think You Are? began this week with Daniel Radcliffe finding out about his ancestors and I found it very moving. I think I've watched every programme in the previous fifteen series, some have been more interesting than others, but I'm always amazed by the characters who turn up in people's pasts. As usual, there's a mix of celebrities in this present series, and even those personalities who I don't know usually turn out to have an entertaining story to tell.

I saw Alias Grace advertised on Netflix and though I'd never heard of it, I saw that it was based on a novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid's Tale, which I really enjoy watching, so I thought I'd give it a go. Though it's fictionalised, I only discovered afterwards that it's based on the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, in Canada. I had no idea what the mini series was about before watching but I enjoyed the way the story is told, by Grace Marks, a servant who was working in the Kinnear household at the time and who was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment, as she recounts the details of her life leading up to the fateful day of the murders to a doctor who is researching the case. It's definitely worth a watch if you've got Netflix.

ITV have been showing a Harry Potter film each Sunday for the last eight weeks. I've seen them all before but I decided to record them for Mick, Eleanor and I to watch together. Harry Potter passed Eleanor by when she was younger, she didn't read the books and only watched a couple of the films, she just wasn't interested in it so I wasn't sure she'd watch the films now but she did and she enjoyed them. Harry Potter was more Daniel's thing, I remember Mick taking him and his friend to the local book shop at midnight on a couple of occasions when a new book in the series was released so that he could get it the minute it became available. They're entertaining films but I still prefer the books.

Have you been watching any of these? What else have you been watching this month?

Sunday 21 July 2019

A New Cast On

It seems ages since I've cast on anything new. I've been trying to finish off what was on my needles already and now that the only things I've got on the go are long term projects, it's time to start some new things.

The Wildflowers & Honeycomb Socks pattern by This Handmade Life has been in my Ravelry queue for such a long time, I'm so pleased to finally make a start. It's such a pretty design and reminds me of the white ankle socks I used to wear to school with the little eyelet details.

I went stash shopping for some yarn and pulled out a skein of merino/nylon by Craft House Magic in the Rio colourway, inspired by the Duran Duran song. I thought the beautiful pale yellow with speckles would be perfect for this pattern.

As you can see, I haven't made much progress yet but I'm sure it's going to be a lovely knit.

This is just the first of my planned new cast ons, more to follow.

Thursday 18 July 2019

In The Making - July 2019

A roundup of the things I'm working on at the moment.

I've had two finishes this month, the Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan and the Goomy 50 Socks. The only things I've got on my needles now are the two Scrappy Blankets which are long term projects.

I had a bit of a tidy up and clear out in my craft room at the beginning of the month. I decided that I'd give my languishing projects to the charity shop. The first thing I decided would go was the Joyful World cross stitch which I started back in 2016. It had already been put to one side when I wrote my More Than I Can Chew post last year but it was time to pass it on. I also came across a granny stripe crochet blanket which had been started some time ago and though I initially decided to send that to the charity shop too, I quickly retrieved it as I had second thoughts. I'm pleased that I did now as I've been enjoying working on that this month. The granny stripe is such a repetitive rhythm, just what I enjoy when I'm watching TV or a podcast.

Another few squares have been added to my scrappy blanket too. This grows so slowly but it's nice to work on between other things. I've started my seams as a cross in the centre four squares and I'm making all the seams radiate out from them. Other people work them as a chevron or in straight lines, there's really no right or wrong way, just what you prefer.

So to sum up, the only things I've now got on the go are two scrappy blankets and a granny stripe crochet blanket, which are all long term projects. Time to cast on something new.

Monday 15 July 2019

She's Got A Key To The Door

She's 21 today, 21 today
She's got a key to the door,
Never been 21 before,
Her father says she can do
what she likes,
So shout hip-hip hooray!
For she's a jolly good fellow,
21 today!

Happy 21st birthday to my gorgeous girly.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Goomy 50 Socks

I've named my latest socks Goomy 50 Socks because they're made from Goomy 50 yarn by Bergere de France, I really need to get an imagination.

I really enjoyed knitting the first sock but once I got to the second one, I just couldn't get the pattern to match up. I wound the yarn and cast on in different places according to where I thought I'd get a match but it just didn't work. I know that there is a pattern and the colouring isn't just random as I've seen other people manage to get two matching socks but, to be honest, it wasn't long after my mum had died and I just couldn't be bothered faffing about.

I didn't think the two socks were going to match at all but they're not actually that bad now they're finished and I can see them side by side, though to be honest, I just don't really care at the moment, there's more to worry about in life.

Anyway, I'll tell you a bit about these socks. I really like the patterned yarn so I decided that I'd knit a plain sock to show it off. I did dress the socks up a bit with a couple of pretty details. I don't often knit a twisted rib but I decided I would on these socks.

I've also knit a fancier heel than I usually do. This is a modified Eye of Partridge heel, it's such a pretty design. I used the instructions from the Hermione's Everyday Socks pattern.

They haven't turned out quite as I'd imagined as they don't match completely but I do still like them.

Monday 8 July 2019

The Ship Of Brides

I haven't been reading all that much since my mum died, I've found it quite hard to concentrate on anything and I believe reading does take a certain amount of focus. Since reading Me Before You back in 2016, I've become a big Jojo Moyes fan, I've read quite a few of her books now, so when I saw The Ship of Brides in a charity shop, I grabbed it. I have to say that my reading mojo was swiftly reestablished as soon as I began reading.

'The year is 1946 and all over the world young women are crossing the seas in their thousands en route to the men they married in wartime, and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides and hundreds of naval officers on an extraordinary voyage to England - aboard the Victoria.

Rules of honour, duty and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined...

And Frances Mackenzie, an enigmatic young bride whose past comes back to haunt her thousands of miles from home - will find that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.'

This book is based on a true story, that of Jojo Moyes own grandmother, who made this same journey. I didn't know anything about brides, married during wartime, being shipped across oceans to be reunited with their husbands when the war ended so I was really interested in this part of the story. The book follows the fate of four brides, each one of them very different.

One thing I would say is that the very beginning was a little slow and I didn't know where the story was going, but that soon changed.

This is the best book I've read in a long time, I absolutely loved the story and it's so well written. A definite recommendation from me.

Friday 5 July 2019

Twenty Years

It's twenty years today since my wonderful sister died, she was just forty two years old.

My sister was my bridesmaid.
There were twelve years between us, she used to spoil me rotten as a child and we were very close as adults, she was my best friend. She was such a kind and caring person and we always had lots of laughs together.

It doesn't seem long since I took that dreadful phone call from her husband on that Monday morning in 1999, but then on the other hand, such a lot has happened since.

We'll be taking some flowers to the crematorium this afternoon, though I don't need any special place to remember her, she's in my thoughts every day.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan

At long last I've finished the Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan by Stefanie Japel. I started this right at the end of October last year and being knit in aran weight yarn, it shouldn't have taken long in theory but it's been picked up and put down, picked back up and put back down again, but finally it's off the needles.

It hasn't been blocked yet, I'll probably just give it a bit of a steam blocking, and it's quite hard to get a good photo of it, but you can get an idea of what it's like. I'm really quite pleased with it.

It was working up rather small when I first started it so I pulled it back and started again, knitting a bigger size, and it has now come out on the large size, but I don't mind that, I like oversized sweaters, especially cardigans so that I'm able to layer up. I've also knit it a little longer than suggested.

I used Drops Nepal, a 65% wool 35% alpaca blend, in the Camel Mix colourway. It's a good budget priced yarn, especially as Wool Warehouse often have sales on Drops yarn so you can buy it even cheaper.

I'm sure I'll be very thankful for it when winter comes round, it's lovely and warm and will be perfect to snuggle up in.