Category Archives: Charity knitting

I’ve used (most of) it up…

Back at the end of May I mentioned a bag of odd balls coming up to Bowen with me
they were destined to come back home in a different form

Flat things are so much easier to pack than round balls 😊

Nine pairs of fingerless mittens – with more to come!

My reading mojo returned with a vengeance- theres been some reading done as well
All enjoyable- Nothing outstanding (most only 3*).
A couple of ‘new to me’ authors and a Chevalier one I missed years ago.

July 2021

Anne Perry – A Christmas Escape

Tracy Chevalier – The Lady and the Unicorn 

Fiona PalmerSisters and Brothers 

Rachel LearyBridget Crack

Kate Grenville – A Room made of Leaves

Kerry McGinnisCroc Country

Monica McInerneyThe Godmothers 

If you’re interested in seeing other’s knitting and reading ideas you’ll find both at Unraveled Wednesday hosted by Kat. Pop over and have a look – she’d love to see you 

Use it up….

I’ve probably mentioned before that when my mind goes round and round in circles it’s the constancy and comfort of knitting that keeps me going. It’s there, it doesn’t change, needles and wool are all I need. And it’s not the big projects that sooth but simple easy no need to concentrate ones.

Don’t ask me why but amongst other things I’ve been contending with recently, the sudden onset of Patsy’s illness and subsequent death had me thinking about all the crafty ‘supplies’ (aka as stash of knitting wool) out in the garage…..and there was/is a lot of it. Full balls are usually easy to pass on – half used not so- and for some reason I got in a bit of a tizz and rather than just think about it knew they had to be put to use……there and then.

Continuing on from finishing off the fingerless mittens in March I ended up making a whole stack more pairs plus some basic cnr2cnr sometimes called diagonal blanket squares. Things the charity are always looking for, it welcomes each and every one that’s donated.

Another look under the table out there brought this to light. A large bin containing far more knitting cotton than I remembered being in there.

I’m an old fashioned girl who likes knitted cotton dish clothes that can be washed and reused……over and over again. I also have friends/acquaintances who do as well so at the moment that’s what I’m doing – knitting cotton dishcloths. Making the special “oh could you knit me some” requests from several poolside acquaintances plus restocking my own supply by using up thinner 4ply ( knitting two strands together = 8ply) which has helped reduce the ‘stash’.   (I found mention of the Waffle pattern on one of Rhonda’s posts way back in 2008 but you can find it here.  I’m making these ones slightly larger)


It really looks like I’ve been at it for hours on end over the past couple of months – not so, all these items have short rows of about 30/40 stitches which means quick finishes. And for most of the time it was an easy non taxing way of stilling my mind….as well as using up all – well most of – actually, more like some of – that stuff outside.



I’ve a full bag of odd balls set to one side ready to make its way up to Bowen

It’ll come back in September as fingerless gloves…..or squares
It definitely won’t be coming back as wound balls😊

There’s been no reading from me to talk about this month but you’ll find both knitting and reading at   Unraveled Wednesday hosted by Kat. Pop over and have a look – she’d love to see you

There’s always one…..

A long time ago (like back in the 1970/80s ) we’d gather the children together towards the end of November to take what we called our end of year breakup photo. It was a way of knowing there was at least one record of them all together each year…..copies were made and one went into each of the grandparents Christmas cards so they could see how much they’d grown during the year. (We were here in Melbourne- they were up there in the cold and often snowy UK). Anyway as is the norm someone would try to be funny….rabbit ears, tongues out, strange faces….


We did the same when grandchildren came along and as usual there’d be one who made a fuss. Or tried the tricks their parents did like little ‘bug eyed boy’

I was beginning to think it was a rerun of those days the other week trying to get a photograph of some cardigans before closing the ‘charity box’. The office had reopened so spent time checking seams (and buttons) getting things ready to send off. Strange I know but I do like to have a record of how most turn out, especially those engineered with pencil & paper (plus a few terse words) using a design from one pattern and sizing from another.
There’s the red one with the pockets finally finished, the grey cable has been done before, the royal blue is simply stocking stitch with a purl row on the right side every six rows (hard to see in that light) while the denim blue on the end was a definite pen/paper add /subtract job.

And just like with the children once you get them together they decided to have fun. Twisting this way and that, clothing disheveled, not looking at the camera, one even turned it’s back on me – lol I can assure you the rib band on the denim doesn’t droop and hang down like that but lies flat and even.

And for your…..’ ahhh aren’t they sweet’ moment…….here are some for the baby 12 month packs. Simple raglan mix and match – white always goes well with another soft colour which is good because it’s a great way to use up some half balls. And look….. the green/white striped one came good in the end.

It isn’t only ‘big kids’ who get to climb trees

So now that all of those cardigans plus quite a few more newborn size have finally made their way to Knit one Give one aka KOGO the time has come to concentrate on finishing some of the children’s jumpers on the go. And after that…..well take a look at this delightful photo of my (sadly late) blond curly haired little sister Patsy (aged about 3) forwarded to me a couple of weeks ago…….maybe just maybe, there might be some woolies coming up featuring little bunny rabbits 💕

It’s time for another cup of tea and a think about it.
My ‘word of the year’ is consider so I’ll have to think carefully about this one. Cardigans or Jumpers (sweaters). Size….can’t be too small or it will be dwarfed by the motif. Colour……practical for children in unknown circumstances or ‘soft and pretty’ because that’s what she was. I know there are graphs somewhere in amongst my patterns so guess what I’ll be doing today 😊😉

I’ve just had an (awful) thought…each of those children is now in their 50s and each of those grandchildren is in their 20s……so what does that make me???

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this week – pop over and see how others fared.
Linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corrine at Everyday Gyaan




Forgotten Fingerless Fun….

So I’m rummaging round what I thought was a ‘discarded’ (as in put to one side to be looked at another time) bag of odd balls set aside for a child’s stripy jumper and right at the bottom. .. inside another bag….found a pile of fingerless mitts that needed finishing.

Several pairs of fingerless mitts
Left unfinished and forgotten for a maybe a couple of years.
I knew they were somewhere….just couldn’t remember where 😊

I’ve been knitting these on and off for quite a while now – they’re always in demand at the charity – so when I’m low in energy they’re an alternative ‘easy knit’ for those can’t be bothered with stitches measurements and shaping times

Now I don’t know if you believe in coincidences or not but that same day looking through photo folders these popped up in amongst my 2012 finishes. I used to find that with there being no instantly visible ‘thumb hole’ at times people would look at them not knowing how they were worn – easy to explain if you’re giving in person but it was fun sometimes to make a little ‘display hand’ like this


Black 8ply and using – Rhonda Jean’s pattern – one I’ve often used since discovering it quite a while ago (2008) – these were destined to be worn by a young girl waiting for the school bus at 8am on cold wintery days.  Losing things was her speciality so it wasn’t long before there was a request for another pair!

And these in a pinky grey mix of colours in Patons Jet knitted sideways – adapted  from a pattern I found on Ravelry – made especially for an elderly friend who suffered with cold hands indoors as well as out. Very simple and easy to do – I rather like the garter stitch detail on the side after they have been sewn together
Here’s my ‘rewritten’ pattern

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Discovered Found the rest of the brown wool in another bag so have decided to make a few more pairs – easy on my brain…..means I can read at the same time 😊.


The book on the table is a fun read – The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith. Even though it was published back in 1892 the short humorous sometimes sad/unfortunate day to day diary entries are still recognisable as ones possibly written in somebody’s today. I wonder if JayCee had this in mind when she named her blog

Not many books read in February:-

*Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift.
Very short, think novella. Mostly takes place over one day. Very sensual….with what might been seen by some as erotic and sexual undertones. Very sad – thought provoking in places. Surprise ending

*Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Basically about someone who starts life in service then makes good of their life. First book in a series – has an ‘interesting’ main character who has an ‘interesting’ life. At times her ‘escapades’ reminded me of similar series – think Jackie French’s Miss Lily series and Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher series …Enjoyable but I’m not sure I’ll look for others.

*A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
About a single woman (not by choice – termed surplus women) finding her feet after WW1 – leaving home, becoming an ‘independent’ woman, becoming involved with a group of ‘broderers’ in the local cathedral also befriending a bell ringer. With one character taken from real life there was much to learn about the project to supply Winchester Cathedral with embroidered kneelers. as well as the hows wheres and whys of bell ringing woven into the story. This I definitely enjoyed – but then I’ve always enjoyed Chevalier’s historical fiction (based on real life persons/events).

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And as usual on the first Wednesday of the month if you’d like to find out a little more of what people have been up to – you really must visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday
hosted by Kat…….you’ll find it here at As Kat Knits 
Lots of knitting and reading to see there.


A little bit of this – A little bit of that

Yes, that’s all I have done recently.
Hopefully the sadness of the last few days will pass and my mind will settle again.

Thank you all for the comments on my last post.….one day I will be able to relate the events and the trauma they caused over the past eight weeks but just for today all I want to say is Thank You

I did do a little bit of knitting….after the green and white cardigan was put right it was popped into the ever filling charity box to wait for the volunteers to return from their summer break. Then I took pity on a neglected wip and finally the Teddy jumper (which had only been on the go for six months) was finished ….and instantly decided to make him a friend. Same as I did in 2016. Unlike back then I found the plain back and sleeves were ‘easy knitting’ and just what was needed to take my mind off other things so Mr Lion was finished in no time at all. Just right for 2yr olds don’t you think?

2021
2016

I did a little bit of reading during January.
Just a few books….some I enjoyed….some not so much.
And some went back unfinished.

* Cover her face by P.D.James
I certainly enjoyed my first time reading an Adam Dalgliesh mystery. Will look out for more in this series.

* The House between Tides by Sarah Maine
Debut novels can be a mixed bag. Also reading ‘new to you’ authors can be an interesting experience. This is one I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to stretch out as long as I could by reading a little each day.

* The Binding by Bridget Collins
I wasn’t so keen on another debut novel by another new to me author. Told in three parts, each relating to the same time period. I really enjoyed the first part, not so the other two.

Then I dipped into a couple of self interest books, picking at bits here and there …..have renewed them so will be doing some more ‘dipping’ during February
* The mindfulness in knitting — Rachael Matthews.
* When things fall apart — Pema Chodron

The length of the day/night elements in our days are changing a little…..yes it’s that time of the year when the ‘days’ are getting a teeny bit shorter and the ‘nights’ are beginning to get a tiddly bit longer. The lights are needed just a fraction earlier in the evening and even though it’s daylight when we wake in the morning it’s hard to judge the time. There’s been so many dull rainy starts recently you don’t know if that’s the reason or whether the light’s not appearing as early as it did the week before.
And that’s good a good thing for those in the northern hemisphere because they can now look forward to a little bit more…..if you follow what I mean.

And if you’d like to find out a little more of what people have been up to – you really must visit….. Unraveled Wednesday hosted by Kat…….you’ll find it here at As Kat Knits.
Lots of knitting and reading to see there.

Down the rabbit hole….

I know what started it……middle of last year (2020), little internet messages between sisters. ‘Do you remember this….when we did this’ backed up by photos floating through the airwaves (or whatever you call what the internet runs on). Thoughts on what we inherited from our mum….I got the knitting gene…..middle sister got the sewing machine gene….and little sister joked and said, all she gave me was her arthritis. Which sent us into fits of ‘LOLs’ because we all inherited it in one place or another. Them in both hips, me in my spine and little brother in his knees.

Feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square 1954 – we ( just we three girls then plus mum….baby brother was there but not in person….yet) were on our way to Germany. Dad was there already, he’d been posted weeks before, so we made our way with lots of other service families on a very old ship across the North Sea from Harwich to Hook of Holland and then by train to RAF Wunstorf.

This photo of little sister’s beret shows mum’s love of fair isle knitting, something I enjoy as well. I’ve never attempted to knit a beret, wouldn’t it be a good project to take on I thought. Maybe even try to reproduce one like little sister’s. No pattern in my pile so off I go the source of all things knitting (preferably free if you know the right way to ask)…..yes, I changed my name to Alice…..which incidentally was my mother’s and my gt grandmother’s name, ……and made my way down the rabbit hole of the WWW.

I came up trumps with this pattern (pictured on the right) but it’s in 3ply so saved it for another day, however the site itself (Vintage Knitting Pattern Archive) is a fantastic source of free vintage patterns.

Another find was this picture of a very unhappy looking little boy wearing a really good looking fair isle style jumper/sweater similar to some I’d made for my children…….if you’re interested the pattern is here…. A Boys Jumper.

Look what came to light this past weekend when I sorted out some WsIP I’d tucked away in favour of doing something else. So enthused at the time by how easy the pattern ( as in the colour work stitches) appeared to be (and actually turned out to be) I’d started on it there and then, finishing the back and a sleeve before putting it to one side. Even though I like the distinct sharpness of the suggested red, white and blue on the cover and knowing I have no control of wherever it goes and to whom, I feel the softer colours will make it suitable for both girls and boys whatever their circumstances.



Looking at the wrong side you can see that like traditional fair isle there’s only two colours to each row, short breaks between each colour meaning short strands. And I tried to have the same colour on the top as I went along the row.


So when I get around to giving some attention to those half finished projects I think this little jumper will be the first cab off the rank.

First book for this year will be A Month of Sundays- Liz Byrski. Four women who have only seen each other on screen during their monthly online book club sessions decide to spend some time together …in person…at a property in the Blue Mountains. A soft read, with lots of tears, revelations and decisions coming up I think.



Unravelled Wednesday hosted by Kat is here at As Kat Knits. Lots of knitting and reading to see there.

Little boys and baby girls…..

October seemed to come and go quite quickly. Not a huge amount of anything was done except wonder if and when things would take a turn for the better and life would become more free and easy (in other words we’d be free from restrictions). The garden started to come alive so there was a bit of pottering done and rainy days meant there was a fair bit of reading done

As far as knitting went I actually had something else in mind but decided it easier to fish out a WIP (work in progress) and finish something‘simple and straightforward’ rather than get crotchety trying to work out increases & decreases at the same time as keeping different colours under control so plain and simple with easy stripes it was. A simple boat neck ….no designated back or front …..which means an ‘independent 2 yr old’ is able to ‘dress themselves’. Who else remembers the “me do it” stage??

After a conversation with a very excited younger (going to be a grandma) friend last week I’ve begun something much smaller and a lot more subdued in colour. Her daughter (mother to be) wants her newborn baby girl’s clothing to be soft (and girly??) so at her insistence soft pale colours it will be and as she’s not a knitter herself I was asked to make several cardigans as well as something like an old fashioned matinee coat, not lacy like feather and fan but plainer…I met up with ‘Grandma’ in an allowed meeting in the park where she looked over a selection of patterns and this (bottom left corner) is what we’ve agreed on. ‘Grandma’ will look at cardigan patterns another day and (all being well) Babe’s not due till May so there’s no hurry 😊

Feather and Fan stitch is often referred to as Old Shale – poking around on the net I found this article that disputes that and shows the reason why. I’m sure many knitters will find it interesting. The comments on the post are interesting reading also. Feather and Fan versus Old Shale

I’m between books at the moment. Actually it’s more like I’m‘book’d out’. The last one I read was The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, a coming of age for the main character, a look at life in rural 1870’s Florida. Maybe it was the patter of speech used…..written and spelt as spoken, set in 1870’s Florida it wore me out trying to concentrate. I’ve read lots of books written in dialect but none so taxing as this one.

Better luck next time eh ??

Yarn Along can be found at Ginny’s. Do pop over to small things to see what others have worked on this past month.
Unravelled Wednesday hosted by Kat is here at As Kat Knits. Lots of knitting and reading to see there.

Yarn Along (October)

So what have I made this month past……..a bit like the month before, not a lot!

I seem to have spent an awful lot of time trying to solve this ‘problem’ of not being able to read let alone comment on some Blogspot/Blogger blogs.
Safari….which is default for iPads lets me in but those blogs didn’t seem to ’recognise’ me….any comments just went off into outer space.
So …following the recommendation of another blogger….I downloaded Opera and all seemed well.
Well blow me down if Blogger has now come out and told me it doesn’t support Opera!
So… I’ve downloaded Firefox in the hope that will do the job……but if you haven’t seen or heard from me in a little while and it continues that way…there’s your answer.
Fngers crossed that’s the end of it….though I’m wondering if the New Blogger people are talking about is possibly part of the problem

Anyway, after having brought it out of hiding I actually tackled some more of The Golfer’s sampler but did very little knitting- well little compared to what I’ve done in previous months.
These newborn hats and bootees were finished and I was all prepared to do more but…..

After checking Marianna’s babbbity pattern decided I had enough of both colours to do some mix and match.
Decision made, I set to and came up with a couple of very easy to knit newborn jackets in different colour ways to put together with the hat and bootees. On reflection they do look a bit dark so I’ll leave it up to the charity to decide what will go with what….they may have some things in paler colours to team with them and soften the look.


I’m getting towards the end of my reading challenge, polishing off 5 during September, (obviously that’s the reason for less knitting last month) and now have these two waiting in line. A very old 1946 copy of Kipps (H.G.Wells) found on the book table at Probus in February…….lol someone was obviously having a clear out 😊

The other one is Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson, an unknown to me author) chosen by title only…..letter Q titles are few and far between so it was ‘ ooh that’ll do’ when I saw it on a Goodreads list. Very historical, historical fiction. My face sort of dropped when it arrived In the box from the library….it’s huge – over 900 pages (with tiny print). Then I realised it was all three volumes of the trilogy! Phew!

I’m not sure which I’ll tackle read first.
Maybe read them in tandem- one century here….one century there.😊

It’s the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s ‘Show and Tell’ time better known as Yarn Along over at Ginny’s. Do pop over to small things to see what others have worked on this past month.

Time for the Big Boys….Yarn Along

Meet one of my ‘go to’ pattern books for 2 yr + knits.  The teddy on the front page (pattern 6) and I are old friends although it’s been a while since I last finished one – also this dark blue ‘Guernsey’ (pattern 4) is another easy one I’ve knit several times.  You can see my versions HERE and HERE

I’ve been giving my fingers a little break since my charity box of baby goods finally went on it’s way…..a long enough break to think about what to do next……..which really wasn’t a hard choice……….wanting/needing something fairly straightforward……….something I was comfortable with…………in the end I decided to move on to bigger stuff – 2 yr old boys!    You might think the yoke of the blue Guernsey looks complicated – if you can count and cable (move one set of stitches over another) it definitely isn’t.  Most of the pieces are plain stocking stitch so it hasn’t taken long to finish the back and work my way up to the yoke on the front.

My reading came to a standstill for a little while as well – however our library (which I’m sure like every other library in the country….possibly the world) has been  closed, now has begun a delivery service.  Weeks ago when I was going through books like they were going out of fashion J0 Nesbø’s first book  (The Bat) took my fancy so I ordered his second one (Cockroaches) which arrived on the doorstep the other day.  So far it hasn’t grabbed me in the same way but I’m sure there’s time for that to happen before the end.

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Ginny from Small Things hosts a monthly meme called Yarn Along which I used to take part in. Sort of a ‘show and tell’ featuring the knitting and reading you’ve been doing recently. Do pop over and see what others have been up to.

This month….June…. I’m Back – and I’m showing and I’m telling 🙂