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No 1 Knit Top Down, More NaKniCromo and Calorie Free Doughnuts too!

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Busy few days. Inspired by  amongst others I have started by first top down knitted item and I LOVE IT ! Having tried once before and failed badly, I choose small, a new baby project from –  All-In-One Sleeveless Baby Top (6 months) & (9 – 12 months) by marianna mel    With a little help from a YouTube video on understanding construction I totally get it now.

Here’s a little bit of my progress.  topdown2It’s small but more projects going on at the same time.






I have also finished another baby top – bottom up construction – needs a little steaming and a button, not as pleased with the button band as I should be, hopefully that will steam out a little.


NaKniCromo on – it’s take a lot of thinking about my dream project (Day 16) – not sure I have just one, just an image of several.  I guess premium yarns, dreams to knit without hiccups, perhaps at least one repeat of an item knit a few years ago. Oh, and of course, the price of the wool would be irrelevant or it would have been free!

Day 17 – Dream Tools – I favour Knit Pro Symfonie needles, rainbows even when knitting with boring yarn!  Day 18 – Technique I would like to master – I would like to be more adventurous with cables, though at the moment I have so much I want to knit that I choose more simple patterns that seem a lot quicker than the fantastic complicated cables I drawl over. Day 19 – More Yarn or Less yarn – More yarn, always more yarn of course. I am working on reducing my stash, whether knitting it or selling some to buy more.

Day 20 – Today – Favourite Tip or Trick – It’s ok to rip something back, don’t consider it wasted time, consider it a learning curve.  Also, mattress stitch, once learned I have never gone back to running stitch or oversewing seams.


And a little sewing – remember the last post – beige and pink circles with sewing pins. They turned into these doughnuts! And now they are available to purchase at a little lovely cafe, The Teashop at Downe, Kent.  I hope customers popping by for a tea and cake will fancy taking a Calorie Free/Sugar Free cake home for later!

So as you see, a busy few days here.




Snow days meant knitting days and 50 things …

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Dare I tempt fate and suggest the worst of the UK winter weather has come and gone?  I do hope so.   It was a shock to the system, coming from a sunny holiday and 30 degrees then coping with minus 7, and a broken boiler with little heating, brrr!

My garden early morning last Friday

The silver lining meant staying home and knitting and sorting out stuff. Another WIP was fished out. The sewing up is the bit I dislike – and perhaps that’s why I have too many WIPs!

Back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves. A cardigan in Cascade Chunky

Taking a break from the woolly project I delightedly re-read my recent birthday ‘gift’ from two dear friends.  I hinted at this on my last post.  I’d been taken out for lunch and presented with a gift

Inside were 50 wonderful ideas on how to celebrate the next year.  My friends had had a ball working these out for me!  Some nice and girly and not challenging, some a little challenging, some a little scary!


Here are a couple to whet the appetite!  I am truly going to enjoy this year!!!



One more knit project finished

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I finished another knit project!  This had been a WIP set aside for quite some time (blogged at the end of January). It was ready in time for our holiday, buttons sewn on and all!

Updating of 2018 Enthusiams (Resolutions to some):

  • Keep on track with the diet – there may have been a little over indulgence on holiday (well, a lot actually! I steered clear of creamy cocktails, but did sup a few clear ones, ate plenty of desserts and did little exercise – I don’t think a dip in the Indian Ocean counts as a healthy swim to counteract it, or does it ..?) .  But according to my bathroom scales nothing too horrific to report
  • Sort out craft stuff all over the house – finishing a WIP counts
  • Think seriously about the next step jobwise/careerwise and make good choices – not been thinking, so this is a mini fail
  • Make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date – I have a big reveal about this later in the week !  Thanks to a pair of lovely lovely friends!
  • Become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance – mini fail …. time to get my pen and paper out ..

Knitting in the dark at 30,000 feet

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No blog posts for a bit as I’ve been on holiday and chose to remain away from tech for the duration. My adorable husband booked us a surprise trip to Mauritius – I celebrated a special birthday whilst we were there and it couldn’t have been more perfect!   It’s been such a treat to escape the winter chills of the UK.

I rarely go anywhere without a knitting project , even on a flight. Unfortunately I can’t have been thinking straight (blame it on excitement about the trip. I have plenty of experience of knitting whilst on the go).  My yarn, pretty, black with silver sparkles .. what was going on my head? Why didn’t I pack something lighter and brighter?

kcgllitteryarnNight flights both ways.  The general plane lighting was switched off, my overhead lamp was poor, mostly the only light I had was from the tv screen.  I didn’t exactly get much done outbound – about an inch of ribbing for a sweater!   I didn’t even bother to try knitting on the flight back.  True knitters will despair (like I did), 2 flights 12 hours each, all that wasted ‘knitting’ time. At least the movies were good though!


I’ve actually been back a few days now, the tan is fading fast and reality is starting to kick in – especially as here in Kent we have a snow today.  I plan a stay-home knitting day! hurrah!

Last week …
Today !

A little knitting finishing, Nepal

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nepal2.jpgThere’s been a lot going on,  including a little knitting finishing.  My camera is playing up – so forgive the wonkiness of these pics (it’s not sewed up wonky, it’s just the way it’s laid out!)


I love this Drops Nepal Blanket in cream, navy and dark teal. It’s a big knee blanket size – started as a gift, but now to be kept for myself (I have gifted an alternative knit so the intended recipient hasn’t missed out!).

I’ve been out and about a bit, another trip to Whitstable – my first of 2018 – rather chilly and blowy but ooh it was lovely to chase the winter cobwebs away one afternoon.


I’ve been meeting with friends, one of my plans for the New Year to do just that.

Hubby and myself getting windswept in Whitstable! 

I have been sewing, two tops, a pair of shorts, pics will follow.  For now I’m just packing them in a suitcase for another trip – this time to slightly further shores – looking forward to a 12 hour flight, movies planned, knitting planned.   Watch this space!


Woolly Enthusiasms and a little Mindfulness too

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Working towards the end of the first month of the year I am happy to report that I am still enthusiastic about my Enthusiasms for 2018 (aka Resolutions to some people).

blue half done wip
Knitting WIP

Last week I rediscovered parts of a summer cotton top in my craft room.  Thinking why I may have put it aside I am guessing reasons – got bored with it/was keen to start something new/change of season.  I discounted ‘gone wrong’ as I still could work out where I was in the pattern, notes and needles were all there.   I had the two fronts, two thirds of the back – so near, yet so far from completion! So it’s take a few knitting sessions and two turns at picking up stitches on the neck (167sts!). I love working with this cotton too, King Cole Cotton Soft DK. Still kicking myself for being a serial starter over the last few years!!!

Updating of 2018 Enthusiams: diet on track, wip counted as ‘sorting out craft stuff, slow progress on job/career/bucketlist, a little better on household finance decisions. Roll on February and more progress.

Further to some Mindfulness reading this week, I have been taking the time to appreciate the things and people around me.  A little ‘therapy’ like this could do many people a lot of good. Have visited two friends this week, one not seen in several years. Both times we had quality time, put some of the world to rights, had a giggle and promised not to leave it so long until the next time.  I had been missing a trip to the see the sea and one trip visited windy and raining Hastings – seeing the waves crashing and bashing onto the beach was pretty amazing, watching only briefly before diving into the pub for lunch!  Photos just did not come out well – so nothing to share, so sorry!  Pub – amazing food – oh my – The Crown, All Saints Street!

I also made a point of telling someone very special how much I love them. Now that’s something we are often not so good at.  Currently feeling warm and glowing, I’d recommend it.

Interpreting one way or another, discuss ..

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I start the week with a different type of post compared to the last few.

Over the weekend I’ve been thinking about how we each see things. It sometimes depends on if what we see is of personal interest.  It also depends on our state of mind.

For example, my husband is an avid football fan.  He screams and shouts at matches on tv.  He jumps up out of his chair with distress or happiness at decisions and goals. If I am in the same room, all I see is 22 men running up and down with a ball – to me it could be the same 22 men from the last match, and the match before, etc.

I love to craft, knit especially.  I admire yarns, patterns, textures, have always a project to hand.  To my husband, a non-knitter, they look practically the same.  In fact I can sit and knit right next to him and he won’t recognise that during one evening one project in my hand has been switched for another.  It’s just me sitting knitting.

On Saturday, we drove past a local church and I read their noticeboard out loud.  I am not a religious person at all and I hope I offend no-one by talking about this here. It said ‘Friend Request’ ‘Jesus’, with an icon as if it was a popular social media site.  It made me chuckle and comment that this particular church is always trying to attract members, perhaps this time from the younger generation. My husband thought totally the opposite.  He said it was alienating younger people, being sarcastic that if they were on a social media site they wouldn’t consider the church as it was old fashioned.  There followed a good discussion between us, one with no conclusion, but it did make me think we may sometimes see things a lot differently.

This is more than ‘Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus’ (John Gray, 1992). We’ve been together a long time and I think we read each other pretty well.

I also read In the Moment Magazine, a fairly new publication to me. This was an issue from October last year, passed to me by a friend who thought I would love it – and I do!  There is a lot of mindfulness discussion within this magazine, suggesting we take time to enjoy life rather than miss it.  In a hectic world I think so many people run fast and don’t see the important things let alone the less important.  I read a couple of articles to my lovely husband.  At first he was dismissive, saying it looked like a lot of ‘happy, clappy rubbish’, then he agreed some things I was saying actually made sense.  He does have a very busy work life, perhaps there isn’t a good work/life balance at the moment and it needs to change.

I took a hint from that magazine, contacted a friend who I hadn’t seen for several years (social media contact does not give the same satisfaction as face to face, quote!).  Today we meet up for the first time in ages.

That’s me for today. Have a good one!





Two craft projects finished

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I have been working on finishing WIPs, particularly yarny ones.  This one in Drops Andes 65% wool, 35% alpaca, purchased when visiting a lovely little local yarn store Little Woollie in Beckenham, Kent, UK. I love an independent wool shop. I always find the customer service so fantastic and you can’t beat a good natter about woolly things!

This …
became this !

I had time for a little sewing project too. Fabric selected from my stash a few days ago turned into a the most useful storage system for circular knitting needles.  The pocket at the bottom is perfect for spare needle needle tips and cables.  It has made me think about what circulars I prefer – possibly KnitPro Symphonie with fixed tips for their smoothness and attractiveness = I always say the rainbows make even black knitting pretty!  I like the interchangeable ones but have had a bit of bad luck with rough fixings and occasionally the screw has unwound despite all my efforts with regularly fixing the tips on.

So two projects down, still numerous ones to be tackled, but this is progress, yay!

circneedleholder.jpg  circneedleholderfull