Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

This and that. *picture heavy*

Heard back from the insulation company. They have agreed to come and remove it from two walls of the house, which means making holes in the walls outside and sucking it out or something like that.

They're coming on the 18th January, as they say can't come before.

They won't pay anything towards the work we are having done inside, even though we are having it done to repair the damp, but nothing back from the manufacturing tests yet, so can't argue the point too much until we know the outcome of that.

So for now we're just stuck as we are, all upside down with no comfy place to sit and worst of all .... my yarn and craft things are all packed AWAY, so as not to get messed up while the work was going on. *cries*
It was all meant to be over and finished by this week and ready to decorate, but now of course the builders are on hold as well until the insulation company is sorted. 

So I haven't been able to do much craft wise, so I thought I'd show you my lovely pets instead.

First up is our dog. We got her from the breed rescue when she was 18months old and when we took her to get spayed the vet discovered she has a very serious heart defect, which she would have been born with.  She wasn't expected to get much past age 3 at best. I'm happy to say she is now 6 much to their shock! She's a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and is mad but lovely!

We also have my mum's dog here with us most days as well, so it's a bit like we have two dogs really!

She's a cavalier king charles spaniel, who thinks she's a princess!

Then we have our hamster 'Jenkins'.

She's a dwarf hamster, winter white.

We also have a chinese hamster called 'Kevin'.

He's very sweet.

Sadly we recently lost two of our pets.
A roborovski hamster called 'Trevor'

And my beautiful budgie called 'Captain Jack Budgie'.


I'm going to get another budgie early next year once all the building work has been sorted out. I miss his lovely little voice and cheerful cheeps!

And although these weren't really pets as such, I thought it would be nice to show the butterflies we 'grew' from capterpillars.

They were fabulous and even when we set them free in the garden they stayed around and we could even get them back to our hands. It was a lovely experience.

Also ...

I have managed to do a little on the dreaded jumper. about another two rows of squares. I need to measure it, hopefully I'll be started on the V neck part soon!

Today though I was 'helping' Joe make a model. I'm not sure I was much help really but we muddled through and then his Dad sorted out some things we couldn't work out ourselves when he got home  tonight, so Joe can now carry on with it tomorrow.

It's a bit like meccano, but a cheap version of it. It's chinese and has no instructions, just a picture on the box and the parts numbered. It's a bit of a challenge for me unless I get step by step instructions. I'm not very mechanical really.

Anyhow, not the most interesting of posts I guess, but I wanted to at least blog about something while I'm waiting to reclaim my stash!!!

Take care everyone!


Saturday, 17 December 2011

The last ten days.

Ten days since I last blogged, but again I've had no internet and phone for about 6 days of that and some other annoying things added into the equation!

So last Friday I was on the phone when it suddenly went completely dead and all the internet went off.
Of course at first we thought it was talktalk again, but this time everyone was off.
Turns out to have been caused by thieves cutting through a fibre optic cable, thinking it was copper they could sell for scrap!

Thing is that around 8,000 phones went down due to this, but as annoying as it was to us, at least we still had mobile phones. The worry was people like pensioners who had nothing ... what if there was an emergency for them?
We don't know if it was a problem for anyone like that, but even so, it wasn't good!

Most people had their service restored by Sunday, but ours was still playing up and not working correctly. In the end we had an engineer out and they discovered the line into our house was corroded and had to be replaced.  Pure coincidence to have the problem at the same time, but meant a longer 'off' time for us.
We were back on properly by yesterday.

Mind you, things have been upside down here anyway.

Damp causing paint work to blister etc.

For awhile we have suffered damp in our front room. We suspected it was caused by the door and window, but couldn't afford to get it done.
It got so bad though that we knew we HAD to get it done. Got the builders in and they ordered us a nice sealed unit window, to replace the door and window as we suspected that might be a problem but once they started work, the true problem showed itself. 

The cavity wall insulation, which according to the company website will NOT allow water to to pass through and cause damp, was doing just that! Infact, it's completely soaked and can be wrung out in your hand! 
So now we are at the stage where the cavity wall people have taken some away to test, they say it's a manufacturing fault, but that they know already that no way will they accept responsibility and will come back with excuses. They are saying we should have let them check the insulation before getting the builders in. Our argument being, that if you are guarenteed that something WILL NOT cause damp but will in fact protect the walls and that even if water does get in, won't allow it to penetrate but will cause it to drain down the outer cavity, well then, how are we expected to have suspected that to be the culprit?

On tests it shows the problem is even worse further up the house in the boys bedroom but is draining down and so is only actually showing damage in the lounge.

So now we are left with only half the job done while the cavity wall people are deciding exactly what to do and unless they can pull some strings quickly, which they say they most likely can't ... we will be left like this until some time in January!

The builders can't plaster as the wall is too damp still.  BUT, on the bright side, at least we're watertight and the new window is in!

I have nothing nice to show with my yarn sadly, just an upside down house with no where comfy to sit right now!  :(

Fun  times!  Haha.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Stash and other things!

Joe and I did some baking in our lessons yesterday. I made cinnamon apple crumble and he made flapjack, which I then put a white chocolate and yogurt topping on. To be honest it's made it a little too sweet for my taste and it could have done with a thinner layer!

I didn't think to get a picture of the crumble, but here's Joe's flapjack, or what's left of it anyhow.

We've each had some and we cut some off to give away as well. A small piece is lovely, but you don't want too much at a time, unless you really love sweet things.

Usually on a Monday we get together with another home schooled friend of his and we bake and do projects together. His friend is away this week though but we still wanted to bake! Last week we went to their house and the boys made cookies, some sultana and some marshmellow, they were yummy if slightly misshappen!

I also wanted to show you some stash I had bought for me. My mum bought herself some yarn on sale and got some for me as well. Wasn't that kind of her! :)  It's like 'fashion' type yarn I guess, so I don't know if it will crochet up well or not. Anyone else tried these before?

Sirdar fresco and Sirdar dune. I'm a bit doubtful of the dune, the fresco might be better. Anyhow, if you have used it, I'd love to hear about it.

Then I was out with my mum getting some yarn for my shawl (the one I previously showed you) and some for Steve, plus some purple yarn that looks chunky and warm, when she grabbed it off me, rushed off to pay for it and said she was under instructions from Tom, my eldest to pay for my yarn from him! I didn't know what to say, it was totally unexpected and so thoughtful of him. I phoned right then in the shop to thank him. :)

This is it, less 3 balls of the chunky varigated that I used for my shawl.

My shawl yarn. I have two left, not sure what I'll do with these now.

Bought this to do another jumper for Steve, it's cream with flecks of brown, light brown and green in it. After the grey, I feel he deserves a nicer colour!

Warm chunky purple!

I can't wait to get started with it all now though. I have a couple of ideas of some things I want to make but not really anything definite yet.

For now though, it's time for tea. :)

Oh and incidently, the tea cosy is now a perfect fit! It was a bit snug to start off with but now it comes on and off fine, without being all loose looking, so I'm really pleased with it.


Friday, 2 December 2011

I'm back.

My laptop is back with me, new keyboard, motherboard (? some sort of board anyhow) and we're good to go! It's wonderful to be able to get back on with things and I'm thankful nothing was lost off it either as I hadn't backed it up. (oops)  Lesson learned ... it's now all backed up.

I've been pretty busy though while it's been gone. Life in general has been really manic recently, but in among it all, I'm happy to say I'm finding time to sit with my yarn and do bits still.

Remember the purple scarf I started?  I got this far before I suddenly realised that way, way back I had 'lost' a stitch and it was alot narrower than when I started!  *CRIES*

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I did try and think ways of disguising it before I realised I wouldn't be happy unless I frogged and redone it properly.  SIGH!

I felt much happier once I knew it was right. I had alot of the darker purple left, but hardly any of the light, so the tassles are all dark with only touches of the light, but I actually liked it like that once it was done.
I gifted this to a friend who is going through a hard time right now and am happy to say she seemed to be really pleased with it.

I made myself a warm shawl. It was a free pattern I found on ravelry. Williston Shawl I used a chunky varigated yarn. It's red, dark blue and light blue. I really like it and it wasn't hard to do.

Finished!!  The edging is slightly different to the original pattern. Whereas they had shells either side of each corner, I wanted a shell on the actual corner, so I sort of altered it a little.

It's lovely and snuggly warm. The yarn I used is really cosy. I'd use it again anytime. This is the best picture I could find to show what it's like.

Another thing I've started is a funky fur cowl for another friend. It's a nightmare to crochet with it though. Or at least, I'm finding it a nightmare!

It's nice yarn, I like it, but it's hard to see where the stiches are half the time.  Very pretty though.

And of course, we can't possibly forget Steve's GREY jumper (sweater) now can we? I'm getting on a bit more with the front now, even if I am breaking off and rushing back to my hooks any chance I get.

I keep telling myself the more I get done on it, the quicker it's going to be FINISHED! So I think it's motivating me to press on.

I have some yarn to show you as well, but no pictures of that yet. A good excuse to do another post again soon though.

Hope all is going well with all of you. I see you've all been VERY busy. I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up with your blogs too easily, but we'll see.


Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Just a quick note to say that I can't really post anything much at the moment.

Unfortunately on Monday, for some totally unexplained reason (apart from the fact I seem to have gotten VERY clumsy these days) I sat down and threw a whole mug of tea over my laptop!

I couldn't believe it!

The laptop just died instantly.  I grabbed it up and turned it upside down to get the tea to drip out and tried to dry it off ....

Looked round after to deal with the table just to realise my poor phone is still sitting in a puddle of tea!


Oh yes!

I couldn't believe my eyes. I grabbed it up and dried it and took the back off and dried it and it hasn't missed a beat and is still (thankfully) working perfectly!

As to the laptop, it's now in for repair and we will see what happens. Apparently 7 to 10 days before we know the worst.


Sometimes I scare myself, I'm soooo useless.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Can't blame anyone but ....


And that's what makes it worse.

I'm having real trouble forcing myself to work on Steve's jumper. I keep breaking off and either going and reading or sneaking some crochet to do.


I've come to the conclusion it's the colour!  I so love working with colours and textures and going back to the dreary grey just isn't appealing.

I'm fine with the pattern and I don't mind knitting that much, although I definitely prefer crochet.
So it has to be the colour and for that I have only myself to blame.

When we were first buying the pattern and sorting out what he wanted, Steve loved this gorgeous blue with sort of flecks in it. He was also up for a lovely cream with browns and fawns ...
Unfortunately I wasn't up for the price of these yarns and found this 'lovely' (ahem) sensible grey ... "It'll go with anything" which was a quarter of the price.

Well now I'm well and truely paying the price and probably deservedly so. Poor Steve, he went along with the grey to please me and now I'm whinging about not enjoying it.
Well ladies, I WILL finish this jumper for him and not only that but I will probably let him choose whatever colour /price (within reason) he pleases next time (as long as it's not grey! and not too extortionate).
It's been a lesson learnt!

So you want to see my sneaky project I've been amusing myself with while hiding from the jumper?

A scarf! 
I'm using two balls of DK crocheted together. One a lilac shade and one a purple. I love it! It looks so effective in real life. I can't seem to get the colours to show properly for you.

I've been driven mad though with the KNOTS!!! GRRRR, I really, really do NOT like coming across these. They are so annoying to me.

Anyhow, it's growing.   So just a quick pattern out of my head. One row of BP FP DC and then two rows of normal DC. I just tried it to see what it looks like. It gives a nice pattern I think.

I'm not sure you can really see it though, with the colours blending like this.

Oh well, back to the grey now ....   :(

Friday, 4 November 2011


I finally finished my little mystery piece. 
I really enjoyed doing this alot. I loved working with the different colours and yarn textures.

It was a teapot cosy!!!

Otherside view:

A close up of a couple of the flowers, I sewed a pearl bead in one type and a crystal in the other.

The top flower:

This is my favourite flower. It's made of a chenille type yarn and feels so velvety and nice.

The lid flaps open:

Of course, me being me, the cosy is a little (ok, A LOT) too tight. It probably would have been better looser. Getting it on was no mean feat! I do wonder if I should have undone it all and redone the sides of the cosy, but I was SO keen to get to the flowers, I just squeezed the tea pot in regardless! (oops).

I got the cosy pattern from HERE 
Doesn't her teapot look gorgeous! I just hunted round the internet for flowers and then added a few bits. The yellow one is actually two different flowers and I just put them together.

I do love my teapot, squashed as it is!  


Monday, 31 October 2011

Back again.

I can't believe it's so long since I last blogged!
Don't you just find the days are whizzing by before you know it right now?
 I've been a bit unwell too, so not as much to show you as I'd like, but I do have a few bits.

First off ... My mobile phone cover!
Steve got me a new phone as mine was pretty old and the camera wasn't too great on it either.
This one has a touch screen, so I wanted to make it a cover but didn't want to pay the price of a bought one.

I looked around the net and found a really cute one of an owl that a lady in Australia was making and selling. So I decided to have a go at making one myself but I did it to my own design, loosely based on what I saw of her one.  I would put a link to her one to show you, but I don't know if it's ok to do that.
Edit to add link:

(Thanks Debi for letting me know it was ok).

I prefer her wings and like the little head bit as well, but thought I had better change mine about and only base mine on her owl cover, rather than do an actual copy of her design.

(or EEEK! if you don't like it!)

That's it complete with my mobile phone inside it.  I made it quite a tight fit as I thought it would give a bit and I don't want it all baggy. I might at some point take the wings off (that's what the triangles are meant to be, if you didn't realise, haha) and make them larger.

Also, I'm glad to say that I've now finished the back of Steve's jumper! I can't tell you how relieved I felt when I cast it off. I'm soooo stupid.
It said on the pattern to cast off in pattern over the next 5 rows, but I cast off keeping to the pattern, forgetting that the pattern actually changed on the cast off row!
So I had to cast all the cast off stitches back on and take the rows back. I ended up dropping stitches and had to call on my mum to rescue me.  (blush).
I was SO pleased to get that off my needles.  I really need to brace myself now to start on the front!

I made my mum's other wash cloth as well, but I just have to do the edgings for her.  This is the sugar n cream cotton yarn which I managed to find on good old ebay! It'll look better once it's edged. :)

I did mean to do a post about my pets as well. So they just might pop up soon.

I hope things are going well with all of you. I'm gradually catching up with your blogs. Lots of lovely things to see, you've all been really busy, I love browsing them and getting inspiration.

Take care everyone!


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Another week of not alot!

So how are you all?
It's been quite a busy time here still. I've been working hard with Joe on some lessons and projects and am still getting things organised in our lives generally as well, which means not alot of time for me and so no real updates to show here sadly.

I haven't done alot on the knitting, so that hasn't really grown much from when you last saw it. I really must make a big effort with that though, as I want so much to get back to my crochet!

I was pretty fed up to find the wool has this in it!

I really hate finding knots in my yarn. Why do they do that?
What do you do with them? 

I have to admit that generally I would either knit them to the back or undo and use as a sperate piece of yarn and then weave the ends in after.  This time though my mum happened to be here and she undid the knot and weaved/combined the two ends together for me and then we knitted them on. It looks fine.  Much better than my knot!

I got my washcloth finished. It's lovely and soft. I like the stitch pattern I tried. The pattern calls for SC into the front loop only. So I tried this one as SC, alternating FL and BL along. I really like it.
I then just did the normal SC all around as an edging.

Remember my humungous crochet hook for that double chunky yarn? Well I tried it and it makes no difference at all! This is still 50g made up on the monster hook, with a DC stitch.

I just think this yarn will end up as an edging or something on different yarn, as 100g (which is all I have of it) isn't going to make up anything I can think of.

Speaking of yarn making up to nothing. I got these 2nd hand and couldn't leave them as they're so pretty, but one ball or two, again isn't going to make up into anything really. So what can I do with them?

One's a dark green and dark blue combo and the other is dark reddy purple and dark blue. Then there's  one full and one used in the lighter blue yarn balls.
Any suggestions?

Debi, 2nd guess on the mystery project .... nope! haha.  I can't wait to get back to it actually, and now my face washcloth is finished I might be able to run it along with the knitting as a side project. so watch this space for updates .... hopefully!

We have a new addition to our family, another little hamster. He's sooo cute!
I will do a seperate post to share him and our other pets. I love seeing peoples pets and hearing a little about them, so I hope you'll enjoy meeting mine.

Anyhow, back to maths lessons now (HELP!) Hope you are all well and things are going ok with you.
Take care everyone!