Now what was the point?

of my putting a hand embroidered - and carefully ironed - tablecloth on the living room table when what it has on it is



Dockside Cardigan

Sunny has stopped being quite so excited by my yarn so I have got out the Dockside Cardigan by Amy Miller that I am knitting again.

The construction is interesting. First a wide circle of ribbing is knitted and then divided into sections (on thread and a holder). Then one section is knit decreasing gradually at the sides to form the back. I haven't worked enough yet, but you can see how it will eventually be joined to the stitches on the stitch holder at what will become the neck.

The textured pattern is worked on every row which takes concentration in this dark yarn as any mistake would really show up!


My knitting corner

There has been some recent discussion on ravelry about comfortable chairs for knitting so I thought I would show you my knitting corner. There's a desk for my pattern etc. a chair to sit in, a footstool for my feet, a lamp to shine over my shoulder onto my work, a radiator for cold days, and a window to look out of - what could be better!

The chair is one from a set of 4 with a round table intended for a conservatory (which we have not got!) They are very comfortable chairs - at least they are since I discarded the thin, hard cushion pads they came with and made my own cushions with decently thick pads! There's a rectangular cushion for the small of my back.

And a knitted and felted cushion to rest my head on. As you can see, the cushion cover is made to fit over the top of the chair back and is tied in place with strings at each side. It is very comfortable, better than many armchairs - and far easier for arthritic joints to get in and out of!



I'm about halfway there with the latest piece of puncetto. The staggered edges are working out just fine.


Cats' Doormat - finished

I got the doormat in tapestry crochet finished yesterday. As the cotton was quite soft I boil washed it - this shrinks everything, making the stitches tighter around the core threads. This makes the mat harder wearing and more stable.

It is relentlessly wet here - the lawn is the consistency of a wet bath sponge, so the cats are trecking in plenty of mud. The other mat is going in the wash today as it is solid with mud.



Tigger is difficult to photograph, but I got a good one of him for once. Hasn't he got amazing whiskers!


Yarn Buddy

Knitting with a kitten has proved very difficult so I have just bought myself a Yarn Buddy from http://www.woolery.com/ . It has ball bearings in the base which makes it spin very easily. I hope that it will make it easier to keep my yarn to myself! Mine is in walnut - a wood I have always loved and I am very pleased with it.



We have not had a good summer here this year, but we do have a bumper crop of plums!



My lovely white hibiscus is in flower - beautiful though sad too because it is a sign that autumn is coming. I'm a summer person and it is a long, long time until next summer - not to mention that here in the UK we are never quite sure we are going to get a summer at all!

It is very wet and quite cold today so here is Sunny enjoying the garden on a better day recently.


How are we going to tell them apart!

The more Sunny grows the more she looks just like Ginger. They even both have light-coloured tips to their tails.

The one on the ground is Ginger. Sunny is on the chair.



Waistcoat progress

I have finished the back of the waistcoat, adding short rows evenly in the area above the armhole to accomodate my spinal curvature. In this case I have made the wraps visible by NOT knitting the wraps with the wrapped stitches together. This creates a neat design feature that follows on from the underarm decreases.

I have also left all the stitches on a spare needle so that I can kitchener stitch the shoulder seams. I have one shoulder lower than the other so avoid seams that sit on the shoulders as these make the problem much more obvious. The central stitches are also left live as I will knit-on the edging  instead of casting off and having a seam there. For stability I can run a small back stitch along where the seam would go, but I find seams on my neck are apt to be uncomfortable.

This is the start of the left front. The pattern has some short row shaping in the body but I am omitting this and working straight as I have problems at the best of times with fronts hanging lower than backs.

I hope this gives some idea of how simple it is to take an existing pattern and adjust it to accomodate figure problems. My problems are quite major and even so the adjustments are not difficult!



I have no idea how many cards I have made over the years. By definition, they get given away and I seem to have been bad at photographing them. Here are two that I found when decluttering recently.


Nasturtium leaves

An odd photo of a fridge magnet I made, cross-stitched onto plastic canvas.

I love nasturtium leaves! I don't know how unusual they are generally, but in the UK we do not have many plants with leaves like theirs - where the leaf grows on top of a central stem. They always look so exotic to me!


Bakewell Tart

First, line a pie dish with pastry. I use puff, but shortcrust and flaky are equally good. Prick it well with a fork and spread generously with good quality apricot jam.

Filling ingredients
100gm butter
100gm caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoonful of good almond extract  (if you can only get almond flavouring, leave it out altogether)
70gm ground almonds
55gm self raising flour

Cream together the butter and caster sugar. Beat in the eggs and the almond essence with the flour. Fold in the ground almonds.

Pour the mixture into the pastry case. Level roughly if needed. You can sprinkle flaked almonds over the top if liked.

Bake at 170 degrees C for 30-35 minutes


Tapestry Crochet

I recently came across mention of a tequnique called tapestry crochet. This turned out to be a method of creating multicoloured patterns by having  two or more separate threads and swapping them in and out,  putting the unused threads in to form a filler. 

I was interested by this as it is a more complicated multicolour version of the technique I have always used to create cats' doormats - mats that sit just inside the cat flap. Towels are inclined to slip and ruck up so I make crochet mats, crocheting around a core of thread to provide a strong, stable mat that stays in place and is easy to wash. It is startling how dirty the mat gets, especially in wet weather - and all that dirt on the mat is dirt that isn't elsewhere in my flat!

I am using left-over bedspread cotton here, working the crochet stitches using two strands and carrying 5 strands for the filler.


Hard surfaces?

Our cats sleep on beds, chairs, cushions - anywhere they please. But Sunny has decided she likes a hard surface to sleep on. Here she is on the carpet.

And she has taken over a plant tray that my husband left on the table for some reason. She sleeps there regularly.


30th Anniversary

This is a picture of us in 1981, about to leave for our honeymoon. And today is our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Neither of us can imagine where those 30 years went.


August flowers

This rose has picked an odd time to flower for the first time!

A dahlia half-open.

I love fuchsias and am particularly taken by this new white one. It is even said to be hardy - I hope!


Puncetto - stepped edges

Puncetto has straight edges. You can work from one side or from a corner, but the result is a straight edge. But I have 4 books of Italian filet lace patterns which I long to turn into puncetto. Last time I picked one with straight edges, but most have heavily stepped edges. I felt it had to be possible to achieve this in puncetto so here is the start of my first experiment.


She really has grown!

Sorry the picture is not perfect but I have been trying to get a picture of Ginger and Sunny that shows how Sunny has grown for some days. By the time the camera has focused itself she has usually moved and all I get is a disappearing tail!



The world is a frightening, depressing place for many people just now so here are two photos to offer a little cheerfulness.



I have had it in mind for some time to knit a waistcoat to add extra warmth under my cardigan in winter, but have been having trouble finding a pattern I liked. Then I saw Sunny Side by Sarah Hatton in Simply Knitting September 2011 and decided that fit the bill nicely. The yarn I am using is 100% cashmere and is a lovely daffodil yellow which the camera cannot cope with. So far I have worked the bottom edge of the back.

I managed to take another photo in different light which shows the colour much better.



Puncetto - finished!

When I took the pins out I found they had made the edging uneven as you can see above. So I damped just the very edge all round, pulled it into shape and ironed it.

And here is the finished piece. I am very pleased with it and enjoyed doing it.

Now I have an interesting filet lace pattern that has a stepped edge which I would like to make. Puncetto normally has straight edges so I am trying to work out a way of achieving the stepped edge.