Tag Archives: Charity knitting

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.

It’s Wednesday

Yes it’s Wednesday again, the first Wednesday in a new month,
The first Wednesday in September 2020.
Which means it is the first Wednesday in Spring

A wonderful Wednesday 😊

It also means it’s been a whole month since I last spoke of any knitting I’d done. Truth be told there’s not a lot actually been done. I finished off the teddies and the fingerless mittens and that was it for a couple of weeks. These little crossover cardigans are always welcome for the mothers’ and babies packs so I set to and finished the pink one in a couple of days…..and it shows. I know it was acrylic yarn I’d had for a while but I’m definitely not happy with how it looks. It might look neater after a very light blocking…..that remains to be seen. Hopefully the blue has knit up more evenly.

An ‘old style’ crossover cardigan for newborns very similar to the one my ‘firstborn son’ wore many (many) years ago.


This is the book it came from….just another from my stack of favourite tried and true pattern books. Look at the way the mother has been portrayed….I wonder how many of us sat around in a floating nylon negligee cooing over a baby in a cradle. Some might of…..I was too ‘busy’ trying to catch up on precious sleep or taking advantage of a sleeping baby by pegging washing on the line 😊

And for some reason my reading slowed down.
I’m waiting for a new ‘delivery’ of library books so rummaged through a pile out in the garage discovering an old 1993 Anita Shreve….Where or When....like Rebecca last month its ‘time in the sun’ has arrived lol.
It’s been a very long time since I read her….hopefully I won’t be disappointed.

Of course being the first Wednesday of the month 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.

Now for something different……

Wouldn’t it be great to say I’d done something different – unfortunately here in Victoria it’s still the same ol’ same ol’…….well that’s not quite true but it’s too involved to try and explain 😒

We have to look on the bright side though and I’m sure that in a few months time we’ll be able to do something different……again.

Mind you, over the last couple of weeks I did find something to do that I hadn’t done for a while – I put the ‘big boys’ knitting to one side and had a go at these…..again

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trawling through some older parts of the blog turned up this post from 2018 which along with this one from 2012 reminded me that giving should be fun……not just knitting from one end of the row to the other.

A couple of little Teds, and what look like squares which (if you follow the instructions in the 2012 post) will turn into basic fingerless mittens, are keeping me occupied at the moment.

I’m still feeling the disappointment of my last read so decided that it was time for one of those ‘I really should read this sometime’ books ……one that after being rescued from an op shop has been lying neglected on a shelf here at home for years.

So far so good, after a ‘strange’ courtship Maxim and his new wife have just arrived at Manderley. Small (tiny) print means it’s daytime reading, I have to concentrate so it’ll be read (and savoured) in small doses. Decisions Decisions – oh what to do….. read or knit. I suppose finishing Ted’s faces would definitely be a start 🙂

Ginny from Small Things hosts a monthly meme called Yarn Along  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.

Just in time

I passed some of my recent ‘want to be alone’ time finishing off and packing up woollies from my donation box. Knitting all the pieces is the easy part, piecing together and finishing off is what takes the time…….and effort in some cases…..like picking up round the armholes and neck of these sleeveless vests.

The box had been emptied back in May when the charity started operating again, gosh there was so much in there it was full to overflowing but that was because of the original ‘lockdown’ when everything came to a standstill. So because I didn’t want them to build up again and just be sitting here at home rather than be available for distribution I decided to ‘move them on’ when I had half a dozen ready to go.

Once the ‘Big Boys’ Guernsey (mentioned in this post) was finished it joined a few others plus the vests and they were off and on their way. Just in time as we went back into hibernation lockdown a week later……unfortunately they’re going to be sitting around somewhere else waiting for the time the charity can reopen and begin sorting and filling orders again 😊

So now it’s on to other things – back to baby size or carry on with the 2yr old?
Now I’m feeling more myself I do have one thing on the go
Hey Linda – look at the new project!
Yes Teddy is in the making 😊

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I’m trying out the newish editor – yes WordPress is going the way of Blogger!
It uses blocks and seems to have a very flat regimented look to it. Flown by the seat of my pants this time, I’m going to have to do some reading & learning I think.
Also I can’t find a way to vary the size of the photos – so big it is !

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 🙂

Feel good Friday….

It’s been a strange week here full of emotion and ‘words’ – I’m beginning to feel hemmed in and ‘restricted’ more so now than over the past weeks.  Who knew that state Premiers not agreeing on when to open their borders, golf being allowed but choir singing not, farts and having sausages for dinner two nights in a row could be reasons for a war of words in our household.

There was one bright happening I’ll tell you about……and it appeared when I wasn’t even looking.  Since the world blew up in our faces lots of my emails have remained unread…no interest – couldn’t be bothered – you name it, it just didn’t happen.  Anyway trying to clear my head by clearing the inbox seemed like a good way to spend half an hour and that’s when I saw something that really put all this weeks rubbishy  ‘stuff’ into the garbage bin where it belonged!

Sometimes I tell you about the things I knit 🙂
I give/donate them to Knit One Give One (aka KOGO)  who then give to what they call community partners (We supply our items to over 280 Community partner organisations. These are Public Benevolent Institutions, charities and government agencies  source)  which means none of us knitters know where our gifts will end up or who will benefit from our ‘handwork’

September last year I mentioned that while we were in Bowen I’d been trying to use up odd left over half balls and how I’d been taking a bit of this colour and mixing with a bit of that…..hoping  to end with some pleasant, what I call half and halves.  See here for the end result – https://cranethie.com/2019/09/26/its-not-all-lying-around-in-the-sun-you-know/

These are some I came home with –  for some reason  I was particularly happy with the one below.

The soft tones of the pink and grey were a good mix.  Not as dark  in colour as these photos – just right for a young one, no matter where they were living or what their  family circumstances were.

OK back to the emails.
Look what I saw when I opened a recent newsletter.  A delightful little one with a big smile on her face wearing a pink and grey raglan sleeved cardigan, pink stripes on the sleeve cuffs finished off with grey buttons.  Certainly brought a smile to my face.

The sun has just come out to dry up some of the enormous amount of rain we’ve had over the past couple of days.  Maybe some time in the garden is what I need…..then I can pick up the needles again 🙂

Answer me……

If there were three words that put the fear of God into me as it a child it was – Answer me child!  Coming from my mother they were sure to have me clam up and do the opposite.  I still have the memories of those ‘conversations’ to this day – whatever I said after those words would never be what she wanted to hear.

The Golfer tells me I speak to myself,  asking myself all sorts of questions,  which I sort of acknowledge and  jokingly tell him ‘at least I’ll have the answer when I remember it’  It appears I also talk to inanimate objects like the tv and the microwave…..that last one I’ll agree on.  Doesn’t everybody say….’ I know you’re finished, just wait a minute ‘ when they hear the ding?

Now because of this rotten virus we’ve been ‘together’ as in close company for the past eight weeks or so and I didn’t hear him mention this at all during that time – but last Friday when he’s away at golf I heard myself exclaim ‘well I never knew that’.  The library sent emails about a home delivery courier service they were trialling and how well it was being received.  First I’d heard of it!

I distinctly heard the words ‘Come on, what do you think you’re playing at’ when the corner of the bottom fitted sheet wouldn’t pull off so it could go in the wash.  And then there was the conversation with a button……

See the little button on the floor.  That’s where I found it.  I was so surprised I even took a photo.  See how small it is…no wonder I didn’t see it earlier.  There was no answer when I asked ‘what are you doing down there, I bet you’ve been hiding there all the time’  

You see when I discovered  I had a bit of time up my sleeve for closing the donation box I knew I had time to finish off one last tiny baby cardigan.     Three buttons on…but where’s the fourth?  Nowhere to be seen so a quick rummage through the button bag for another and all done.  The box is now sealed ready to go….there’ll be no need for buttons for a while…..I’m eyeing up round neck 2yr boys jumpers/sweaters as a  change from all those little things.😊

So later on after my morning coffee I’m thinking it might be a good idea to give the button bag a bit of a sort out.  It’s like Aladdin’s cave…..a big bag filled with little bags of buttons.  All shapes and sizes and colours.  I should show you sometime….well, maybe not.  There’s a limit to what readers will accept – or is there?  I wonder what your answers would be 😊

Something’s stirring….

And it certainly wasn’t me 😊

Tuesday – always a non day, the busyness of Monday has gone and the quietness of Wednesday has yet to come.

So what did I do yesterday – Tuesday our time.  Well not a lot actually.  A restless night with broken sleep didn’t help.  It was cold overnight yet beautifully sunny first thing, not tempting enough to go outside that early though, not until I’d had half an hour in a nice warm bath with Echoes, an old 1997 Maeve Binchy

A quick wander down the bottom of the garden midmorning showed that some things are stirring…..we might want the world to stand still so we can get off this awful merry go round we’re on at the moment…..the one called living with a pandemic……but nature has other ideas.  Life doesn’t stand still for her.

The small snippets of information gleaned from the Premier’s easing of restrictions bulletin had me wondering if my charity would be reopening it’s doors soon so early afternoon  I made a slow start on packing all the hand knits ready to drop the box off at the local pick up point.  ‘Not yet’ was the word from them later,  it’ll be ready to go when they are.

Do you like the latest finish?

Facts and figure fascinate me. With all the daily briefings we’ve had recently there’s been oodles of them floating around .  On another level  Here’s a website I found a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to find worldwide information on the current crisis.  Wait for it to load then scroll down to see the (quite daunting) individual country totals…..there are other tabs at the top worth looking at.

When I turned the heating off and went to bed last night the world totals were 4,256,539 cases – 287,353 deaths.

I wonder what it is now?

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Friday Finishes…

It’s a standing joke amongst  some of my friends that I’m I known as ‘the little old lady who knits’. It’s something I’ve always done.

Most of you know that what I knit these days goes to a local charity rather than family – and instead of the scarves beanies and gloves that other volunteers make I prefer to give my time to the baby and toddler programme.  I bet you’ve all been bored by  seen lots of the little cardigans and jumpers I’ve worked on, the reason for me making those sizes is (not because I’m permanently clucky 😊) but because they grow quickly which means they are finished before I get bored with them’ which then means I can get on with something else!

Over the recent ‘stay at home’ weeks the needles have been clicking like crazy – it passed the time in what I’m calling the ‘horror season’  I don’t know about you but a fair bit of news …..national as well as international…….has been watched, each and every bulletin available devoured.  Anyway that……like the  confirmed cases……has slowed down considerably thank goodness, so now I’m recovering my composure by  staying away from ‘news channels’, biding my time gathering all things together and tidying up loose ends.  Sewing up and placing buttons so the finished garments are ready to go to their new homes (wherever that might be)

Hot off the needles this week is this little grandad neck shirt

 Over the years I’ve knit oodles of them….these below are just a few…….using the stitch count on the pattern to get the sizing but altering colour and design.  One feature of the original garment (picture below from pattern) – the collar- has been ‘deleted’……after a couple of times of trying and not being able to get it to sit right I decided a neckband worked better for me.

 

 

 

This time I decided to add the mock cable design from this pattern on the left – one that’s been in my pile for a long long time.

Thankfully the stitch count worked out right……juggling stitches – adding/subtracting….is par for the course when you  adapt patterns….so once I’d set the first four rows it knit up a charm.   I think knitting  plain stocking stitch on the back and sleeves gave it a more simple boyish look, as well as highlighting the front panel.

Agreed ?

 

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And here’s a funny story about a little boy whose Mum (she who many years later became the little old lady who knits)  put that very same cable pattern on the front of one of his jumpers.

One day long ago in 1969 he went on a drive from Ipswich where he lived to see his Nanna and Grandad in Colchester, which is where they lived.  He fell asleep in the car and woke in a very grumpy mood when they arrived.  His Nanna asked his Mum and Dad if they would take him and his brothers and sisters to a local park and take some photographs with her old box brownie because she didn’t have any recent ones.

So back into the car they all get which didn’t please him at all.  In his temper he took off his shoes and got even more ‘angry’ because his Mum wouldn’t put them back on, instead  carrying him to the chosen bench, where he certainly made his feelings known 😊

He was feeling very sorry for himself so his Mum tried to cuddle him while his sister (the one his Mum refers to as ‘our litte girl’) undid the buckles on his very (expensive) nice red shoes.

Lots of cuddles later (with his shoes on) he sat with the others on the bench but no matter how many times his Mum and Dad tried  to coax him there was no way he  was going  to  ‘smile’.   In fact he was starting to annoy the others with his sulking.  His favourite brother kept  giving  him dirty looks,  ‘our big girl’  kept telling  him to  shush,  ‘our little girl’ was thoroughly fed  up and his big  brother just wanted it over and done with.

Let’s get Daddy (later to be known as The Golfer) to sit with you on his knee – after all it’s  his Mummy who wants the  photographs.  The little boy had calmed down by then …..unfortunately by that time everybody else was more interested in what was going on around them to look at the camera…..so they gave it up as a bad job and went back to Nanna’s  house for  tea!

It’s strange the *fun* memories that surface when you’re not really looking 😊

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week.

Give it a go….

It was during one of my ‘self seeking’, ‘leave my poor me behind’ moments at the end of last year that I decided 2020 was to be my ‘give’ year.

‘Give it a go’ seemed one of the ways to ease myself into the mood and that’s when I thought about my knitting ; these days without Kiera (my Brown Shadow) to keep me company it’s my knitting I turn to in times of stress.

Do you remember my attempt a couple of years ago at trying to resurrect old skills – knitting in the round in this case.

I decided once was enough where that was concerned but knew there was another way to get round the ‘bother’ of  knitting each piece (back, front, sleeves) then having to sew together to construct the garment.  Yes, lazy and impatient are us these days😎

There was a method I’d heard of but never tried – knitting top down.  Some online knitters had mentioned this as being easy peasy, especially for babies and children’s woollens but first I had to do a little reading before I gave it a go.

After looking at oodles of sites online I found this website full of patterns – many in the top down fashion – best of all…..easy and mostly free – I knew I’d hit on a winner!

This is what I chose as my introduction to this style of knitting.  Using straight needles with increases at regular intervals to form the back and the sleeves, so simple I wonder why I never tried it before .   Me being me, I adapted the pattern to add another colour – https://mariannaslazydaisydays.blogspot.com/2015/01/babbity-baby-jacket.html

During those recent lazy days onboard with my needles, wool and a screen shot of the pattern to keep me company  this is what I came up with as my first ‘gift’ for 2020 to go into the winter charity box

Wonder what’ll be next?

It’s time…

Time has passed quite quickly recently…..here we are in the third week of December…….not much left of 2019 to get through.

Get through being the optimal words as my ‘invisible ailment’  (lumbar spinal stenosis )   is making itself known again.  After a fair while of no symptoms, now when I need to be on my feet and mobile the dreaded heavy hot numb then tingling legs and feet have returned…..thankfully not the sharp, make you jump and screech, don’t know when it’s coming, electric shock down your leg pains when the sciatic nerve is involved.  All of which unfortunately limits my walking (which makes it worse) so consequently I’ve not done half the things I’d planned.  I have however read a couple of good books plus knit two baby cardigans…..and watched a fair bit of cricket.

The GP agreed with me that part of the problem really is because I haven’t been doing any regular exercise since we came back from Bowen  I cancelled my gym membership before we left (not a contract one) meaning to reinstate it and my latest swimmimg pass had been used up, both of which I’ve just haven’t got round to renewing.  I have been doing some  physio recommended ‘simple’ exercises at home as well as using some light weight  dumbbells but they obviously aren’t enough.  What’s needed is a more structured method- one where I can’t stop and make a cup of tea when the going gets tough – well, I can stop, for a while – but it’s a bit awkward going to the attached cafes for a cup of tea when you’re all sweaty or dripping wet – and then making your way back to start all over again.  Best get it over and done with, then enjoy the tea when I get home 😊

Do you remember my dear friend who died recently ‘gifted’ her stash of wool to her friends and family.   Well the yarn knit up beautifully but was such a non descript, rather plain bland colour I had to put a pattern on each of them so they didn’t look flat and uninteresting.  You’ll find the previous two towards the end of this post, so all done now  and these two along with anymore I knit in the meantime will go off to the charity later in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course I read more than two books….these were the two from a pile of random library picks that stood out from the rest 😊

Sorry fot the dead – Nicola Upson.  Josephine Tey #8

In the summer of 1915, the sudden death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house–now much changed–and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War. As past and present collide, with murders decades apart, Josephine is forced to face the possibility that the scandal which threatened to destroy those women’s lives hid a much darker secret”

A cast of almost all female characters, set in various ‘times’ with the murder as the central focus of the book.   It covered attitudes toward women and their roles, very early women’s lib, developing female ‘friendships’ –  both open and covert – and how they were seen by society.  Lots of twists and turns with a surprise last chapter that tied in with the first one.  The only flaw for me was the jumping from decade to decade (sections set in different times) which I lost track of with having the same characters turning up each time.  Having to turn back to the front page of each ‘part’ to remember which year I was in was a bit of a nuisance.

Last seen alive – Claire Douglas

Libby and James Hall can’t believe their luck when the leaflet comes through the door. Swapping their tiny city flat for a beautiful house by the sea? Who would say no? But once they arrive at The Hideaway Libby starts to get jittery and increasingly paranoid. She is sure that someone is watching them. Something here isn’t right. And when she suspects their lives to be in danger they swiftly decide to return to Bath. But they can’t pick up their old life so easily. Because this isn’t just a casual house swap. This is something much, much more sinister.”

This one started out quite slowly (almost like the holiday it was supposed to be) then it changed.  Very subtly it became more of a mystery (touted as a psychological thriller) with a murder thrown in for good luck  Twists and turns as the story moves on – secrets are revealed- previous lives and deeds come into play    You never know what’s going to happen with each page turn.   Definitely recommended.

🎄 🍦 🎄 🍷🎄 ⛱ 🎄

I’ve really enjoyed your company (and comments) this past year but I’m feeling a bit tired and weary so think now is the right time to push the seasonal pause button

My love to you all – I’ll be back again in the middle of January

Merry Christmas and a very Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year

I’ve been thinking…..

Thinking about how quickly this month is going by.

Here we are into the third week already, there’s something marked on most of the  upcoming days and I’m still trying to get to grips with things that happened during the first week!

  • Thinking about how most of Victoria must be fed up with our changeable weather.  What we think of as Spring weather (dry sunny and pleasantly warm) seems to be taking a long time to arrive – cold wet and windy are the order of the day with a teaser thrown in here and there.
  • Thinking about the days we spent with no landline and consequently no internet courtesy (it finally turned out) of the NBN line layers working in our and nearby streets.  The Telstra technician who came (read that as finally turned up days later) to ‘find’ the fault……over $100 to pay if it was on our side of the socket (entry point) nil if on the other……mentioned it could (more than likely, would) happen again if ‘they’ had to work in the pit opposite our house.
  • Thinking about for one reason or another I seem to have spent an awful lot of time waiting  these past weeks.  So many queues – so many waiting rooms.  Luckily I plan for delays and take a book (or knitting) –  good for some situations, a bit awkward in some 😊
  • Thinking about a CT scan and how previous findings marked moderate are now read as severe.  How changes happen without you really noticing until, bam, they are very noticeable.
  • Thinking about other readings (BP) and how they have suddenly changed.  Family history and pain can do that, the GP said.  We’ll change your medication- ‘cept the chosen one may have side effects.  Like what, I asked.  Oh swollen ankles, nothing to worry about.  Well we’ll cross that bridge when or if we get to it.

AND

So you don’t think I’ve only had ‘pain in the a****’ things to think about…..I’ve been

  • Thinking about how pleased I am that choir rehearsals have begun again (for me that is). There is a U3A promotional concert tomorrow morning so it’s been hectic but fun catching up on songs learnt and practiced while we were away.
  • Thinking about how lucky we are here in Melbourne to attract international exhibitions at the NGV.  The decision we made to leave The Terracotta Warriors until the last week was so well worth the long wait in line.  A late afternoon slot meant there were no crowds, giving us room to move and look at things from different angles.
  • Thinking how glad we checked the pile of gift cards languishing in the bedroom – we forget when they run out – and there was a Gold Class (cinema) one, obviously a present from last year because it was due to expire this month.   The Golfer signed up for a new seniors scheme run by the cinema chain which meant we received discount on the seats as well as food; and you know how they charge like a wounded bull so we were able to have more to eat than originally planned 😊
  • Oh and Downton Abbey was what we saw.  I didn’t watch the tv series so not knowing all the back story, to me it was just a grand showy film about the goings on in a ‘big house’ – twists and turns and what seemed to me an ending that left a way for another production about the same characters.

And then there was someone and something I’ve been thinking of for a few weeks now.

Not long after my dear friend died last month her daughters popped in with a gift.  They’d been ‘spreading their mother’s love’ around her friends and would like us to have something of hers.  A bag of mill ends  from Spotlight 😊  Their mother knit for various charities and that was what they wanted us (the recipients) to do.  No problem where I was concerned- I was to knit something for charity and they’d drop in again sometime to see what I’d come up with.

They did pop in again- Just the other day – And this is what I showed themTwo small cardigans (size 3 months) and enough wool left for two more 😊

Are you willing to share the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in your life at the moment?

It’s not all lying around in the sun you know…

That’s what I told an acquaintance (a friend of a friend) the other day…..after she said, “I’d get bored stiff sitting about in the sun all day”

Well I said….’I only visit my special little bay, maybe three mornings a week, for about two hours. Arrive about 9.15am, pack up and leave about 11am…..back to the cabin just in time for coffee with The Golfer when he finished his morning round’

You see, you can take a book along and read on the beach or close your eyes and enjoy the fresh sea air BUT you can’t (or at least I can’t) do any Winter Knitting!  Never mind not wanting sand in your sarnies…..sand in your sweaters is just not on lol

I decided to concentrate on small woollies this year (newborn- 6months), took just two of my basic patterns with me, some white, some solids plus a lot of small balls of this and that…..and came up with 10 little baby cardigans.

Three with crossover fronts – an easy fit for newborns.

Crisp yellow or blue stripes old size 18” (3-6 months) in a timeless medium button style.

Same size but with not enough of the green, pink or grey to make a complete garment, after a little bit of thinking, a bit of visualising, I ended up with two of what I call – half & halves.

Same size again, using the same stitch count, here are three solids made to look a bit different by adding a rib pattern on a couple and a few purl  rows on the ‘right’ side of another.

I spent yesterday finishing off, sewing on buttons, checking I’d actually sewn all the seams and generally making them ready to hand over to the charity.

What’s next for my needles?  Thinking…..Thinking  lol.

I have a lot of wool still to use up and a few ideas in mind.   Maybe something a bit larger….possibly for 2yr olds??

Take the good with the bad…..

You can’t always have everything you want!
That’s something my mother impressed on me from a young age
Oh, and another saying of her was
You have to take the good with the bad

Bowen is (sometimes) our winter home and when I discovered a file of old photos those expressions turned up in my mind as well

Some winter days in Far North Queensland are great
Like this day at Queens Beach Bowen

July 25th 2011

Sunny skies with a hint of cloud reflected in the watery sand
as the gentle low tide waves rolled in and out

Then there are others that are not so great
Like this day – on the same beach

August 4th 2011

Very grey skies with lots of cloud definitely not reflected in the cold looking sand as the waves thundered in and out

As you can see the weather had a mind of its own this trip – I wanted sunny blue skies everyday but didn’t get them
We had to admire the good and accept the bad.

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A friend admired the recently knitted pink matinee coat (like this one) so that’s gone to new baby who has just moved into a new home in the northern hemisphere.  Like the original it turned out quite nice but it was what I would call a bad knit – just like the blue cowl neck jumper – not to be attempted again.

Anyway not to be deterred it was back to the ‘donated to me stash’ and on to another favourite – this sweet lacy front jumper. Such an easy knit which turns out just right each time yet I was undecided with it being such a bright yellow.  There are some who say…..it’s for a charity, does it matter…… so I’m hoping it will brighten up some little girl’s winter day.  What do you think?

And all was going well – until I woke up yesterday with aching fingers.  Yes, for some reason, after quite a long time in remission my mother’s gift of arthritis was making itself known again. Painful swollen knuckle joints are the pits, I should remind myself of this when I try to do too much.  Consequently I’ve put the needles aside for a day or two ……rubbed in the Comfrey Cream, which usually works ……and picked up a book instead.

All is good – but I’ll accept the bad when I have my friend to keep me company 😊

Linking to Skywatch Friday