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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.




One project done

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A very mini project completed, a tiny Christmas hanging decoration. Quick and fun to make! Hurrah, one less project on my list of WIPs and for Christmas 2017.


Christmas Panic Crafting amongst other Christmas Panics

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We’ve had a light smattering of snow and the Christmas tree is up courtesy of hubby and son. But it’s happened again – Christmas is almost upon us and I am starting to panic about not being organised enough!

Hubby is always difficult to buy for and handknits for him are a no-no, he just doesn’t appreciate them so I can’t do an emergency knit for him. I can usually get away usually with gifting a hat and that’s about it (but I did that last year!)

A stinker of a cold arrived at the end of last week and it’s really knocked me for six. Having not left the sofa for days, fuelled only on hot honey and lemon drinks I haven’t got a lot done.

It’s imperative I finish knitting two items before the 25th and I hope I will get those done, but I sit looking longingly at a little pile of fabric on the dresser and I think amongst other things ‘thank goodness it’s Christmas next year, the table runner I’d planned will be lovely next year..’.  Practically every year it comes to December and I haven’t quite got my Christmas ‘act’ together.   I like to be spontaneous, perhaps that’s why I can’t bring myself to start planning too far ahead. I am not one of those people who start creating in January ready for December.

greenyarnThis teal ball is turning into something I can’t share here yet.  Let’s just say it involves 2 sticks and a little counting here and there.

So in my five minutes of lucidity this afternoon, I’ve knitted two rows, ripped back one, knitted two more, squinted at the last wondering if the pattern sits right,  then I’ve blogged here.

Later on I need to plan food for 24th, 25th and 26th December.  I at least need to think about what we’ll eat and how long it all takes to get it together and what allergies and preferences guests have. This year so far there are no vats of soup or yummy cakes in the freezer. What have I been doing I ask myself?

Oh well, back to the couch for a bit.


Arrivals and Departures, Comings and Goings

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Last Friday I had to go to Gatwick Airport to collect someone.   A pleasant sunny drive on a winter’s day despite the best efforts of a purple Lamborgini driver who was determined to run someone off the M25, luckily not me!

gatwickThere’s a very special atmosphere inside an airport, people can be very emotional, some look lost, some stride purposefully, some meander, some dress smart, some dress down, some hardly dress at all (think of those suntanned arriving from sunny shores!).  I saw a child momentarily become separated from it’s preoccupied mother. There was an unattended bag announcement. I queued for coffee, overhearing an adventure recalled loudly by new arrivals.  I  chatted to someone also waiting who told me she’d just landed and was now expecting her daughter to fly in from somewhere else before they headed home together.

I was collecting someone special. I happily anticipated his arrival at the gate, hoping this time we would meet each other easily, not like last time when we nearly missed each other (he waited in the wrong place, I was late).

Whilst waiting I spied an old friend coming through from Customs. What parallel lives we may have. She was working temporarily at the airport, not travelling in from somewhere exotic. The last time our paths had crossed had been on a Eurotunnel train under the English Channel a couple of years ago when both our families were independently on their way to France.  Good job I am not spooked too easily. Lovely to have a quick catch up and actually work out towards the end of this month we shall both be at the airport again on the same day!

At last my arrival ‘arrived’ safely, happy to be home for a while and we went on our merry way.

Today I was back at Gatwick, though slightly less excited.  It may have been the early hour. I was dropping hubby off this time, not the same person I picked up last week.

Tomorrow I have to collect said hubby from Stansted Airport as he flies back to the UK after less than 24 hours in Holland and before we head off to the North of England to a family funeral. He travels an awful lot.  Even he said today it was a long way to go for a business dinner!

No, I am not a taxi driver though reading this some might think I am. We live about an hour away from three international airports and it just happens there’s been some too-ing and fro-ing for family members.  Two more airport trips this month (at least) though still not for me to actually go anywhere.  Looking forward to one day when it might be me taking off and the anticipation or euphoria I feel at an airport may be one of excitement for a trip of my own!


When is a snowman not a snowman?

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Yesterday snow fell in some parts of the UK.  Many people get quite excited at the first snow of the year, though I know most of us hope it falls when we are safe at home or where we want to be, snug and warm and our loved ones are too. Here near Bromley in Kent we had a smattering.  During the morning whilst I sat in a cafe with my crafting friends there was a flurry for about fifteen minutes.  At first a few flakes, then the wind blew it sideways and we wondered if someone up the road actually had a snowmaking machine and was teasing us.


The snow got a little heavier but it didn’t come to much.  I watched from indoors knowing that if I dared get my camera out and run outside it would stop, plus I was warm and cosy, I had a cappuccino in front of me and my knitting in my hand. It stopped as quickly as it had begun.

Image result for oakley coffee shop
Oakley Coffee Shop Petts Wood Kent

A trip to Whitstable in the afternoon was decided on a whim. It’s about an hour’s drive away, and it could have been seen as slightly mad to consider it with the inclement weather. However, it was fun (and very chilly with a breeeeeeeze off the sea) and we found they’d had a little more ‘snow’ than we had.

(or a little wishful thinking at the Charity Shop Relate in the High Street!)


50 Shades of …

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It’s getting chillier and chillier in the S E of England. What an excuse to sit and knit – do I ever need an excuse?  Actually, no, knitting is like breathing to me.  Sadly, sometimes those ‘breaths’ are a little more successful than others.

For a new cowl I made this week I used Rico Creative Bonbon yarn.  I didn’t like working with it and I don’t actually love the cowl itself.  I am already thinking it will pill easily, a miff for yarn crafters!  I was playing with a scarf pattern which was supposed to be on smaller needles with skinnier yarn.  I knitted a short length with this super chunky yarn and sewed the ends together to get it over and done with.  The hat is made from DROPS Nepal – now, I love this yarn – but I hate the hat!  I fudged a hat pattern which should have used a different yarn gauge again, and made up a lot as I went along (ripping back and reknitting more than once). Together this pair of purply things look ok on the model head but this time the creations don’t make me smile widely.

purple cowl and hat.jpg

Talking of colours, purple in this case.  Have you ever looked at your stash of yarn and thought ‘hey, 50 shades of grey/purple/pink/fill in the blank’?  I guess I have a lot of purple in mine, perhaps not 50 shades but it’s a close thing between purple and green. What are your 50 shades? 

Back to the two sticks now. Hopefully the next project is more of a success.  I am still working on several WIPS which I dip in and out of.  These two items were supposed to be quick knits (they were), to satisfy my soul with a start and a finish of something tangible.


The Yarn of New York 2014

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One summer afternoon in 2014 whilst my husband and son went to a baseball match, I wandered about New York and found Purl Soho.  A kaleidoscope wall, A shop full of friendly fellow yarnaholics.  Bliss for me. So glad the boys were away so I could browse and purchase at leisure! purlsoho

via Daily Prompt: Knit

Hastings, The Longboat and The Pier

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Yesterday we took a trip to the seaside.  It was chilly with blue skies, so wrapped up warm in a handknitted hat and scarf (of course!) we took a stroll along the prom before visiting family.  I am so lucky to have connections still to my home town.  For those who don’t know, Hastings is a town in East Sussex, on the South East Coast of the UK.  It is where William the Conqueror is commemorated for winning the Battle of Hastings in 1066 (though oddly enough it is little known that he technically won the battle in Battle, a village slightly inland!)




Here’s a snippet of what we saw!

The Landing is a sculpture rising out of the shingle, like a Norman longboat, erected to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

It is majestic and mystical, not enough has been said about such a wonderful piece of art.  It is about midway along the seafront, opposite Denmark Place. It is tasteful and accessible and I absolutely love it!


This tiny little plaque is all that is there to tell you about it  !

You can read more here, a snapshot of the original unveiling as reported in a local Hastings Newspaper last year.

If you are ever down that way go and take a peek.  And whilst you are there no visit would be without a visit to HASTINGS PIER.

Image result for hastings pierImage result for hastings pier

Image result for hastings pierImage result for hastings pier

When the pier burned down in 2010 (suspected arson after a long battle to save a failing structure from the 1880’s)  I was so sad.  Now highly excited to see the rebuilt pier has won The Stirling Prize for Best New Building recently !!!  As reported in The Telegraph

*Pier photos not mine, taken from other online articles