Sunday, 25 February 2018

I don't have a home Jason, I live in a boundless void

We went to Kew today, in company with the rest of West London.  First sign of a bit of sun, and we all head to the green spaces.  It was absolutely heaving in the Princess of Wales greenhouse for the Orchid Festival; everyone trying to get out of the wind, which was pretty ferocious today. 

Some pictures.

If you are in West London between now and 11th March, you really should go, it's utterly lovely, and there are at least 4 Thai water lizards in the greenhouse.  Hattie swore blind she saw one; obviously, we dismissed her as making it up, this is the child who apparently saw a badger in broad daylight on Dartmoor, and didn't say anything to anyone as she didn't want to disturb the driver after all, but for once she actually saw what she said saw.  Wonders will never cease.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

What did you bring me today? Delusional mutterings with a side of crazy?

Actual footage from Sunday.

We went on a family walk on Sunday.  Only a couple of kilometres and there was only a few moans from the children.  Of course there was moaning; there is always moaning.  We don't like walking, we don't want to go near the canal, we don't want to explore the woods, we don't want to climb on a lock, we don't like these things at all, and we are not being silly, this is a real and genuine dislike, and is nothing to do with us not wanting to leave the house.

It wasn't a beautiful day, but it was cold and fairly crisp, and there were slight signs of Spring everywhere - from bulbs poking through the leaves to little buds on the otherwise bare branches. 

Distance: 2.6km
Weather: Cloudy and cold - about 6⁰C
State of Mind: reluctant at first, moving towards actually having fun

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

One person's annoying is another person's inspiring and heroic

I made something from my #makenine2018 list.  And it's only the middle of January.

It helps that I've made this pattern about 15 times already, and can pretty much make it in my sleep.  I still need to do something like a full bust adjustment on it, because there is a lot of fabric across my chest, above my boobs, which is due to the six inch difference between my full bust and my high bust measurements.  Still, that's only really visible to me, so I may not bother.

It fits well, and I'm pleased with it.  Not sure about the cuffs, but I'm going to leave them in place for a couple of wears and see how I feel.  Also, that blanket covering the mess that is the spare room sofabed was the first thing I made, back when I first started knitting, and it's still just about going strong.  It has a couple of holes, cleverly hidden under the cushion, but otherwise looks good for its age.  

You can see the cuffs are quite big, and the sleeves are quite long, and there's then a bit too much fabric under a cardigan, plus I like to have my sleeves rolled up while I'm typing and then unrolled when I'm not.  So fussy.


Check out that stripe matching.  I traced the pattern onto newspaper so that I could cut it out flat, which was a pain in the bum, but I'm really pleased with the result.  

I bought a top for myself from Joules before Christmas, which caused something inside of me to die, but it's a nice top, and has some great touches such as the ribbon on the back of the neck band, so I have copied that shamelessly.  I'm thinking of getting some really nice floral ribbon next time I'm in Liberty, and that will please me even more.

Pattern: Coco by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: nice thick, heavy jersey from John Lewis
Size made: Size 5, no real modifications

Monday, 15 January 2018

Cos you shine on me wherever you are

Last year, I joined a Linden swap on Instagram.  I bought the fabric and got it all ready and all that, and then spent all of December being ill with a series of coughs and colds, and all things unpleasant, so my poor swap partner got her jumper late.

As you can see, it's a grown up and mature fabric, and I really want one of my own too, but I'm trying to use up some stash before replacing it with yet more stash.

I had enough left to make Hattie a sweatshirt, which she was, at best, lukewarm about.  

Check out my arty work in progress shot.  I'm still ill, and after a month and a half of nonsense, thought I should probably go to the doctor, so I took the morning off work.  Unheard of, but very nice to sew before school.  

Despite my horrid chest infection, and antibiotics to prove it, I finished the sweatshirt in one day.  What a hero.


No, I wasn't allowed to iron it.  She went from lukewarm to super excited in the space of about thirty minutes.

This is Hattie sulking about me asking her to take it off so I can put cuffs on it.

The cuffs are unusually long, as requested by the fashion expert.  Apparently they will keep her hands warm at all times, and won't in any way become grey, grubby and unpleasant.

She took it off to go to bed, but it was in the bed with her.  I've wrestled it off her because she got gravy on the front, and the cuffs were mysteriously grey and grubby.  It's drying on the radiator at the moment, because I think she'll want to wear it again tomorrow.

Pattern: traced off an as yet unmade tee-shirt for her and made a bit bigger
Fabric: star-print sweater knit from eBay
Size: 7 year old nutter

Monday, 8 January 2018

It's Owl who knows something about something

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First finished object of 2018, and it is yellow.  I think I actually finished the knitting in 2017, but only got around to sewing the eyes on this year. 

The yarn is Drops Eskimo, and I used about five balls, I think.  I bought it for a Kate Davies Owligan cardigan, which I made, but was too big in the body and too tight on the arms, thanks to poor pattern reading.  So I frogged it and reclaimed the yarn for Lucy. 

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I think she'd prefer an orange one; but, having sorted out the stash and finding how much wool I've forgotten I own, I am not buying any more until I've made at least ten things.  I'd better get on with it, as there is Farnham in a few weeks, and then Edinburgh in March.  So excited.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Like a lot of things in life, it should all work out all right.

December 2017.

Cooking a Christmas meal for 44; Making Winter retreat; biscuit baking and face-painting; revolting children workshop; Christmas lunch; hyacinths; fish and chips in freezing Brighton; nephews; it's all about balance.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


Last year, I put up a wish list of nine things I wanted to either knit or sew during the year, and then completely and utterly forgot about it.  That's what happens when you only put things on Instagram and then stop blogging for months at a time. 

I did actually make 3 and 2 halves of the things on the 2017 list, as you can see from my brilliant photo.

I made a Rosa shirt dress, a pair of black Ultimate trousers and an Audrey in Unst.  I cast on a Corraline, and made an Anna skirt after ripping the zip out of the dress in a temper.  

I didn't make the Elizalex dress or the Dutchess jumper, or the Manu, or the Horses jumper; mostly because I forgot about them, or other things caught my eye.

This year, it will be different.  This year, I have allocated fabric to my make 9 sewing projects and photographed them, and put away all other fabric, so I will have to make the things I said I would.  Also, if I do that, I can get some fabric in LA in August.

These are the sewing things:

That should keep me out of trouble.  

I'm refusing to believe that the holidays are over, and am still drinking gin.  Cheers.

Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

November 2017.

Knitting; forcing hyacinths; hawthorn gin; Christmas cake; wool winding forced labour; orange Caribou cardigan for Lucy; baking; Kew - greenhouses and arty pictures.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head.

October 2017.

Autumn collection; Dartmoor walks, runs, mists and mud; THIS IS 40 Hedgehog cake; climbing; Chagford sandwiches; the East Dart.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Dr. Banner, your work is unparalleled. And I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.


You can always tell when I go back to school.  All these photos were taken over one weekend.  The rest of the month is a blur.