Sunday 30 August 2020

Confetti Socks

It was a while since I'd finished knitting a pair of socks but with My Crafting Rotation now in place, I've managed to get two pairs off the needles within the last week. I've already done a blog post about my Mojito Socks and now I shall tell you about my Confetti Socks.

These were started at the back end of March. They've been knit in Ducky Darlings yarn in the Confetti colourway which Eleanor bought for me for Christmas 2018 and I have to say it's so beautifully soft. I love the way the yarn has knit up in this pattern.

I've knit the Wildflowers & Honeycomb Socks by This Handmade Life before, it's such a pretty pattern which reminds me of the short school socks I used to wear in summer. Just like I did with the Mojito socks, I've changed the heel given in the pattern for a Fish Lips Kiss heel. It gives a nice fit and there's no messing around picking up stitches or decreasing for the gusset.

The only knitting I've still got on my needles are two scrappy blankets which are long term projects. There's plenty I'm itching to cast on though. I'm still continuing to follow my crafting rotation, which I wrote about earlier this month, but I've now slotted in two different projects instead of the socks. I shall give an update on what I'm working on soon.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Botanic Garden

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was going to have a go at English paper piecing, or patchwork as it's often called. I thought I'd show you the fabric I ordered.

This is the Botanic Garden range by Lewis and Irene, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. There's five different patterns in the range and three colours in each pattern. I ordered seven fat quarters. I think this fabric is so pretty, I especially like the pale yellow floral.

I'm new to buying fabric, sewing isn't usually my thing. I ordered this from You, me and Mabel and it arrived promptly. There was even an extra piece of fabric included in my parcel, a little freebie. I'd messaged Sally, the owner, with a query before I placed my order and she was very helpful and friendly.

Now to start cutting into it and starting the sewing, though it's a little daunting if I'm honest.

Monday 24 August 2020

Mojito Socks

After what seems an age, I've finally got a pair of socks off the knitting needles.

These were started back in April but what with one thing and another, losing my knitting mojo after the death of my dad, they've taken quite some time to finish.

I used the Sugar Frost Socks pattern by Marianne Heikkinen, a pattern I've used before. It's quite straightforward, just one pattern row in every four, but it adds a nice bit of interest to what would otherwise be a plain sock, and just the right amount of pattern for a self striping yarn. Speaking of which, this is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply yarn in the Mojito colourway. I've used the same yarn in the Chocolate Lime colourway for the cuffs, heels and toes. Instead of following the pattern at the heel, I put in a Fish Lips Kiss heel, it's such a good fit and always works well with a self striping yarn.

They're a great fit and will be added to my sock drawer, though I don't think it will be long going by the weather we've got at the moment until they'll be worn

Friday 21 August 2020

A New Hobby

Sewing is something I've barely done in the past, either machine sewing or hand sewing, but English paper piecing seems to be all the rage at the moment and it's really calling to me.

I've bought a few essentials to start me off and I've watched a few tutorials on You Tube, not that they really make all that much sense to me, I think it's just a case of diving in and seeing how I get on.

I don't know how successful it'll be, as I say, I've done very little sewing in the past and I'm not sure I'll even enjoy it but I'll never know if I don't give it a try.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday 18 August 2020


It was Mick's birthday on Friday. He took a day off work and Eleanor and Jacob both had days off too. We hadn't planned to do much, perhaps a meal out at some point in the day as I haven't done very much for ages now owing to my bad back, but it seems to be getting easier at last so we made a last minute decision on Friday morning to head off to the Yorkshire Dales.

There's a field in Burnsall which is used as a car park and it's situated right by the river so we decided we'd park the car there and just enjoy the peace and quiet.

It was a little chilly when we arrived and there was a little bit of mist still hanging around but that soon burned itself off once the sunshine arrived.

It was much cooler than it has been just lately, which I'm glad about. I did still manage to catch the sun on my face though. It seems I only have to look at the sun and it burns me.

Archie had a lovely time splashing around in the river and then managed to find a spot to lie down in the shade of the car parked next to us.

Afterwards, we went for a little wander around Grassington. It was quite late in the day by then and most of the shops close at 4pm, so we didn't stay long, not that we would have done anyway as my back was beginning to complain. By the time we got home we couldn't be bothered going out to eat so we ordered a take away.

I often find that these unplanned days out turn out much better than those which are planned. We all had a lovely day.

Saturday 15 August 2020

Rusty Cat

I haven't done very much cross stitch in my life, I've only really come to it just recently, but my very first attempt was many years ago. I've recently come across this first project again, though it never got finished.

My mum was giving cross stitch a go at the time, though she didn't finish her project either, she was more of a knitter. I'd seen my mum cross stitching and I wanted to have a go myself, so when it came to my birthday and my brother asking what I'd like, I asked him to buy me a cross stitch kit. I'm pretty sure he was in the army at the time, he joined at sixteen as a junior and left at the age of twenty one, which would make me between the ages of eight and thirteen. I don't think I could have been as young as eight, I was probably about eleven or twelve, so that's about forty years ago.

I got quite a bit of it done and then never picked it back up again. What a shame.

I thought I might finish it off as there isn't really all that much left to do and it's only a small piece but I'd stupidly left the needle in the fabric and over the years it's rusted, leaving a nasty mark. I've tried soaking it in Vanish but it hasn't brought it out and it's very near the stitching so it would be visible. I've read that lemon might do the trick but I don't know whether to bother or not.

I don't want to just put it back in the packet and put it away for another forty years, though I probably won't be here myself by then, so I need to make a decision, have another go at getting the mark off the fabric or call it a day. What would you do? It's not as though it's a big piece or anything special, it would have been nice to finish it off though. I really can't decide.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Could Do Better

My tomato plants leave a lot to be desired this year. They're not performing half as well as they usually do.

For the last few years I've chosen to grow the bush variety, Maskotka. It has a sprawling habit and though the plants always look untidy, they produce the best tasting tomatoes I've ever tried. This year the plants have grown more compact than usual and they look rather poor specimens too, not very healthy looking.

They haven't produced many tomatoes this year either, usually a couple of these plants will give me more tomatoes than I require but there's very few on the plants and none have ripened yet.

I'm glad now that I chose to grow a second variety this year, Bloody Butcher, though I have to say that these two plants aren't faring any better either. This is a heritage cordon variety but the plants haven't grown very tall and though there's plenty of tomatoes on this first truss, the rest of the plant is comparably bare. At least these are starting to ripen now though, I should have my first taste of homegrown tomato today.

I know the plants have been a little neglected this year due to everything that's been going on here so I'm putting their poor performance down to that, but they could certainly do better and I shall strive to make sure that happens when I grow them again next year.

Sunday 9 August 2020

My Crafting Rotation

I've got quite a few projects on the go at the moment from a number of different crafts, some of them get worked on regularly whereas others seem to be languishing so I've come up with a way to ensure that the things I want to work on get some regular attention.

I've taken seven of my outstanding knitting, crochet and cross stitch projects and I'm making sure that I choose one each day and putting at least an hour's work into it. Things may not progress as quickly as they would if I were concentrating solely on one or two projects but at least all seven projects are getting worked on.

I've got a list of other outstanding projects or things that I want to start and they'll get added to the rotation one by one as each current project gets finished.

It may seem that it's a laborious task working this way but I'm really enjoying it. I haven't given each project a set day to be worked on, I pick up whichever one I fancy that day and I'm loving that each piece is getting closer to being finished.

Thursday 6 August 2020


I've suffered with my back on and off for a long time. I can't stand for long periods and I can't walk as far as I'd like either without it hurting. The pain I encounter usually goes after I rest for a while but not this time. We went for a walk to Temple Newsam three weeks ago and I've been in constant pain ever since.

I'm not one for seeing a doctor, things have got to get quite bad before I make an appointment, but I finally relented on Tuesday and rang the surgery. Our doctors are still not doing face to face consultations because of coronavirus so I made a telephone appointment. I hadn't spoken to the doctor who rang me back before but she seemed thorough, or as thorough as she could be over a telephone. I was on quite a while with her whilst she asked lots of questions and she seems to think it's sciatica.

I've been taking paracetamol and ibuprofen and she's told me to continue with those but has also prescribed codeine to take with them. I can't say I'm keen, I usually suffer rather than take tablets but things have got so bad that I'll try anything. She's referring me for physiotherapy, though she did warn me that the appointment could take a while and even then it would be over the phone. She did mention going private and that is an option as I do have private health cover, but I'll wait and see how long I have to wait before going down that route.

It seems to run in our family, my mum and dad both suffered terribly with their backs and my brother has trouble with his too. I'm hoping that the exercises I receive from the physio will help and that I can ward off any future problems.

Monday 3 August 2020

Little Fires Everywhere

I first saw a clip of Little Fires Everywhere, the new Amazon Prime series, on Gogglebox quite a few weeks ago now. It had me wanting to see more but I don't subscribe to Prime so when I saw the book, by Celeste Ng, for sale I decided to read it instead.

"Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town - and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost..."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, though it wasn't quite what I'd been expecting after the clips from the series that I'd seen on Gogglebox. It has made me want to subscribe to Amazon Prime just so that I can watch the series though, I think I'll be doing that very soon.