Collage

Collage
Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A preemie blanket and two hats...



The fairly atrocious photo above definitely does not do justice to my latest knits. I finished the preemie blanket that I blogged about recently. It measures 15" square which shows up the tiny size of the preemie hats that I knitted with the remnants of the same 4 ply yarn. The smaller hat is for a baby angel of 20 weeks gestation. The larger hat should fit an older premature baby. The pattern came from Andycrafts. There are some lovely premature baby patterns on the website. This hat is at the bottom of page 3 if you go as far as downloading them.

All three items above are pale blue. The photo was taken in poor light. Look how it is put to shame by the beautiful photo I took last week. This is Port Gaverne in North Cornwall, England. It is very close to Port Isaac where the tv series "Doc Martin" is filmed. The scenery all along that part of the coastline is spectacular. I could drink in these colours all day.

The Cornish hedgerows are currently blooming with an orange shrub that I later found out is Crocosmia. You can see it in the foreground of the photo. We had plans to plant some at home until I read up about it. Apparently, it is invasive and will even travel underground to come up through concrete. I don't think my neighbours would be too pleased with me if I planted it. Luckily I took lots of photos.





Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Housekeeping...







I have just been doing a little housekeeping on my blog. It seemed like a good time to check all my links to make sure they actually lead somewhere.  Everything should be working fine now.

I also noticed that P*********t wanted me to pay to keep my blog button in my sidebar. I decided on Plan B and removed the button. Blogging can become a little cottage industry.  But this blog is really just for enjoyment and is not meant to be a money-earner. In the past I have flirted with including adverts. But it didn't feel right. So, I removed them.  I know some people downloaded my button and I think that it will probably no longer work. Sorry for that. It was good while it lasted!

I am adding my own picture of my "Keep Calm and Pick Up Stitches" design and I have set it up so that it links back to my blog. It is in my sidebar.  If anyone wants to borrow it for their blog, that is fine by me and there is no charge!!

Happy August to everyone!

                                                                                                        



Saturday, 22 July 2017

Summer knitting...




This is all I have to show for the last few weeks. 
  • A heatwave (welcome, but too hot for knitting), followed by 
  • a "meet-the-inlaws" family barbecue (a great day) followed by
  • a Cliff Richard concert (swoon, though he said he is unknown in America. So, many of my blog readers won't know why I'm swooning), followed by
  • 2 weeks of Wimbledon tennis (had to concentrate on it more this year as I was lucky enough to be given tickets for the Ladies' semi-finals), followed by 
  • a week up a ladder painting ceilings (my least favourite diy job

put the brakes on my knitting and crocheting. I managed just a few rows of a little preemie blanket most evenings (when my clingy cat would allow it)  and here it is.

I started this blanket in the heatwave. It was too hot to hold anything thicker than 4 ply wool. So I decided to use up a ball of pale blue 4 ply on a small corner-to-corner blanket. It will eventually go off to PreemiesUK

This is an easy, mindless pattern. The difficulty is in knowing when to stop increasing and start decreasing. I started with 95g of yarn. So, I intend to stop increasing when I have 50g left, just to be on the safe side. But I would also like the blanket to measure 15" x 15" which is one of PreemieUK's preferred sizes. I am currently at 14.5" and 62g of yarn left and have reached the stage of weighing my ball of wool after every couple of rows. At the moment, I wouldn't stake any money on my reaching 15".

I finished the decorating yesterday and planned to treat myself to a trip out today. But the weather had other ideas. The rain is pouring down at the moment. That is very welcome in the garden after the hot, dry summer weather; so, it isn't all bad. In fact, it is the perfect chance to catch up on blogging and other small tasks.

I am sitting at my desk now looking at thick grey clouds that are so low they are almost touching my windows. But tomorrow's weather is forecast to be dry and 21 Celsius....my all-time favourite temperature....woo hoo! Where shall I go? Decisions, decisions!


Saturday, 1 July 2017

The cat sat on the mat...




Someone gave me a ball of very coarse black and silver wool several months ago.  I wondered what to do with it until I realised that I have never knitted anything for our cat Fleur. How remiss of me!  She sits next to me patiently when I am knitting and is usually very good about not playing with my wool. Sometimes, however, she will try to pull on my knitting needles. That is her way of saying that she is hungry or bored. Generally, though, she is a very good audience member and companion.

Fleur was a rescue cat and is now about 14 years old.  She was found by Cat Protection volunteers locked in the back room of a squalid flat whose owners were intending to use her for breeding. She had already had her first litter of kittens at a very young age. They were also taken away and rehomed.

She started off as my daughter's cat, but became mine when Daughter grew up and left home.  So far, she has been a very fit cat. But last winter I had to take her to the vet a couple of times to get her claws trimmed. There was a lot of cold weather and she wouldn't go out into the garden which is where she normally exercises. Both visits to the vet were traumatic for Fleur, me, the vet, the people and pets in the waiting room, and (possibly) the next door neighbours.
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Desperate to avoid regular vet visits, I bought an expensive scratching post which Fleur sniffed disdainfully and has studiously ignored ever since. I then bought a small, cheap raffia mat with a cat toy attached.  This has been a success. Typical!
Fleur immediately claimed it as her own special place to sit. I've decided that she likes the texture as it is very similar to our front and back door mats where she can also sit happily for hours.

We recently bought a lovely faux leather sofa bed for our spare room.  Fleur has discovered it and often jumps up if I am sitting there watching the spare tv. I decided that the coarse black wool would make an ideal cat mat. I combined it with some pink that needed to be used up and knitted a simple corner-to-corner square. I also attached a small pompom which is barely visible in the photo, but might be a nice plaything.

I just emailed this photo to Daughter and to the person who gave me the wool. Their reply was "Awwwww". So I think everyone is happy.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Still knitting....



I decided to end a really dreadful week with something good.  I know I haven't blogged for ages; but I have been busy with lots of things including knitting. I used up the last of the donated Peter Pan Cupcake yarn by knitting a preemie blanket. The yarn is thicker than I would normally use for preemie items. But on the label it advertises itself as "deliciously soft" and it really is. That is surprising as it is 50% acrylic and 50% nylon. But whatever way those ingredients are combined, the result is a little cloud that would wrap a baby beautifully.

I haven't been able to take a decent photo. The colour is a pale green and lilac, so it should suit any baby.

The next photo has been more successful. This is the pile of items that will soon be flying off to PreemiesUK There are seven small blankets and a cardigan.


Hopefully my little pile of goodies will make the world a slightly better place. We can only do our best.....


Thursday, 20 April 2017

The desk mat with a secret ;-)


When my employer set me free (woo hoo!) last year, I celebrated with a little trip to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It was in Lincolnshire that I spotted and bought a little antique desk. It had obviously been much used and was showing its age. But we liked it because it is the same age as our house.

I had a quote to redo the top. The restorer didn't think it needed doing because he liked the "patina". When he quoted £300 I fell in love with the patina as well.

I have cleaned and waxed it and it now looks perfectly acceptable. But it was missing something. We bought a new desk lamp and that helped a lot. Then I had the idea of buying a leather desk mat to go on top. These sell for about £50 on Ebay; so I moved quickly on to Plan B.

I bought a large piece of brown faux leather for about £4. I have already used some to make a door draught excluder that costs £40 on Ebay. So I am now up to £90 of items from a £4 piece of material.

It needed an insert and I puzzled over what to use. Then I remembered something that has been in the bottom of my wardrobe since 2012. That was the year when the Olympic Games were held in London and other UK venues. The atmosphere was so great that year and, quite honestly, hasn't been matched ever since. I was so involved that I even went to the victory parade in London. 

I don't usually go to these victory parades. But I have watched them on tv and have seen the crowd holding up placards. Mystery solved. Clever companies give out these boards and ask people to write messages and then hold them up. Free advertising!  My placard came from British Airways. I like the Union flags all around the edge. I don't like my soppy message, so that is covered up in the photo by the strategically placed faux leather!


I measured very, very carefully and cut out the leather. I have been watching a recycling tv programme called "Money For Nothing" and copied the idea to hold the leather together with clips rather than pins to avoid holes.


I was worried that my old sewing machine wouldn't be able to cope with 2 layers of faux leather. But it purred along and here is the finished result.


Hubby and I are both really pleased with it. My eventual aim is to move my laptop to the desk and to do my computing work there. Now I will be happy that the top is protected.  

I'm glad I kept this placard. It has come in really useful and I still get that warm feeling and happy memories when I look at my new desk mat.  Hopefully, it will last for decades. I suppose it will be thrown away one day. But I doubt that it will ever be opened up. My secret insert is preserved for posterity!


Friday, 7 April 2017

The "Here comes the sun" blanket....



This lap blanket has just gone off to SIBOL where the industrious Sue will add it to her collection of blankets from other volunteers. When the pile threatens to take over her house, she delivers the blankets to people living in care homes in and around Birmingham in the UK.  Apparently, they are always very well received.

I started this blanket in the depths of a very cold winter and finished it just as the weather started to improve.  From the first stitch, I intended it to look like a sun bursting through a blue sky and I think I achieved that.  I didn't want it to look like a baby's blanket.  I'm not sure I achieved that!

A lot of the wool was given to me by a colleague of my husband. When I sent her this photo, she was very pleased that it went to a good cause and she has more for me!! I'd better start my next project.....