Friday 29 May 2015

Five on Friday

A Very Neglected Garden 

One of the things that is most frustrating about convalescence is the inability to do the things that need to be done and having to  stop yourself from doing them when you think you are fit enough but you know that you really shouldn't. 

I thought that I would show you my disgraceful garden just so that you can appreciate the beauty in yours even more.

Front and back overgrown lawns, oh how I'm itching to get out there and cut the grass, but my lawn mower is old, heavy and very temperamental and I really don't think I'm strong enough to do battle with it yet.

Flower beds choking with weeds

The weeds have taken over the gravelled and paved areas too.

 Plant pots crying out for attention

I think you can see what I mean, the weather has been cold and windy too so the garden has been thoroughly neglected, but as soon as the weather improves I will get out there and do what I can bit by bit even if it means sitting down on a stool to weed the borders.

amongst the ugly beauty still rears it's head in the form of..

Red currants beginning to form it looks like I'm going to have a hug crop this year so lots more redcurrant jelly.

Buds on my favourite rose bush even though it's standing in weeds and hasn't even been fed yet this year.

Apple blossoms on my apple tree Looking so pretty, fingers crossed I'll have some apples too.

Have a great weekend I hope that the sun is shining on you. :) xx

Linking with Amy's

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Tuesday 26 May 2015

A Lovely Pair of Socks

For some reason the art of sock making has always appealed to me but seemed quite out of my reach mostly because it involves working with Dpns something I have tried on several occasions but could never quite get to grips with.  

I have been in awe of knitters who are quite proficient at this task, they hold the four needles effortlessly and the resultant creation is nothing short of perfect, whereas mine is usually riddled with dropped loops gaping holes and ladders.

When I read about the Sockalong I knew that I just had to give it a try and I'm so pleased that I did because sock making has opened up a whole new world to me, starting with so many amazing sock yarns to drool over, I was quite confused with the huge choice I can tell you but in the end I chose this simply because the colours appealed to me....

and then there's the ultimate decision of what needles to use. 

For these my first pair of adult socks I went along with Christine's advice and I used both Dpns and this cute little circular.  My opinion of Dpns has not changed, I find them awkward to use and I know they will never be the method of choice for me, the small circular was great and didn't take that much getting used to but for the shaping you have to revert back to Dpns.

The actual making of the socks was great, mostly it was just straight knitting and with that tiny circular it was an easy portable project.

It was a bit of  a challenge in places  but Christine has explained it beautifully in her great tutorials and she guides you through each stage step by step and if I did get stuck both Christine and all the other lovely participants were there to give advice.  I would urge you to give it a try if you fancy trying to make socks but feel a little afraid of the process. 

For my second pair of socks I'm using the lovely yarn which Linda sent me I am trying a large 80cm circular and using the magic loop method and I feel as though I have come home! it's amazing and I'm loving it.  The beauty of it is you don't need to use Dpns at all with this method, that of course is still to be proven because I haven't done any shaping yet, I will let you know how I get on. :) 

Linking with Snickerdoodle Sunday
Handmade Monday - Creative Tuesday - Eyeloveknots - Link and share Wednesday - Lunamon Design- hookin on hump day

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Friday 22 May 2015

Five On Friday

Giving Thanks.

I'm easing back very gently into blogging after my Surgery so here are five very short snippets.

I am now one week post Surgery and feeling stronger each day, the operation went well and was really nothing to worry about.  As always the waiting and the apprehension is the worst bit, once the day arrives you really just want to get it over and done with.  I hated the waiting around from 7 30 am until 1 15 pm watching each person going before me and being the last to go into surgery, when it was my turn I nearly jumped onto that operation table I so badly wanted it to be over.  

I woke up one and a half hours later feeling sore and nauseated, but they have you up and out of there in a few very short hours. The first three days are the worst but for anyone who has to undergo Keyhole Gallbladder surgery please don't worry you will be fine
My first thank you goes to the Anaesthetist and the Surgeon, they were brilliant and put me at my ease, were very patient and answered all my questions.

The Second thank you goes  to my lovely daughter who did such a great job of looking after me on those first few days and to my work colleagues who have been so lovely sending me supportive texts and visiting me, they sent this lovely bouquet isn't it beautiful.

The third thank you goes to Christine Winwick Mum and the sockalong participants, making socks has kept me focused and given me something to strive for, I never thought that I would manage to make a  pair of socks for me but thanks to the help and encouragement from this lovely group I have made a pretty decent pair, and they fit!  More details to come in another post with pictures. 

A huge thanks to Linda from Chalky's World, she has to be one of the sweetest and most generous of people. Linda is making Twiddle mats at the moment and sent me one to take to work to get feedback from the Mental Health Nurses there.  Along with with the twiddle mat (you can see an example here)  Linda sent me this lovely get well card 


I'm going to use this yarn for my next pair of socks THANK YOU Linda xx

Thank you to Maisie for this beautiful get well card

Hand painted by one of her relatives, I have mentioned Maisie before on my blog, she is a sweet elderly lady  ( Happy Birthday Maisie it's her birthday today) who attends the Day Unit, she still makes things to add to my charity box and recently asked me to give a talk about the the things I make and the Charities Loving Hands Support in her local Community Center.  I agreed to do this, the date was set and lots of people were looking forward to it, there was going to be a tombola and tasty nibbles BUT the date coincided with my surgery and had to be cancelled, so I'm so sorry for letting her down but will set a new date as soon as I can.

And sorry Amy but I have to squeeze in a number six just to thank everyone who has left me good wishes and a huge thanks to those who have been emailing me regularly to ask about my progress and and have kept me entertained with their chatty messages.  We have never met but I feel like you are all true friends and I appreciate your kind thoughtfulness. :) xxx 

Have a great weekend! :)

Linking with Amy for her

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Tuesday 12 May 2015

Making A Difference

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a member of Loving Hands which was founded by Lou Jaap in 2007.  We now have thousands of members around the world all crafting together to make a difference to those in need.  Last weekend  I was very proud to read an article in the Sun newspaper about our organization explaining the work we do and how even a small pair of mittens can help a child who has been orphaned or indeed made homeless.  Sadly Lou  is now in ill health and although she is still at the helm a lovely lady called Kate Guant is now doing the invaluable job of taking over where Lou has had to leave off.  Because of the article we have seen a huge increase in our members it's heartwarming to know that there are so many who want to help.  You can read more about Loving Hands here  why don't you join us too.

One of the charities we support is Operation Orphan who are now in Nepal helping where they can. You can read  a harrowing and very sad account of what they experienced when they arrived there here.

Operation Orphan have put out a plea for knitted/crocheted blankets in all sizes, if you would like to help but can't face making a whole blanket six inch squares sewn into strips of six, or twelve inch squares sewn into strips of three made with DK yarn can be sent on to us, please email me for an address if you are interested.

Following on from my Knit a Block a Week Challenge last year, I'm challenging myself to make as many squares and projects as I can from the book 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton you can see what I have made so far here

and this is what I have made for this month so far....


I have made these particular squares in gender neutral shades for Liz from Unraveling Me do pop along to her blog to see what she is going to do with them.

As you can see there is always a great need for squares so many charities are in need of them. With the making of these I will be killing three birds with one stone..

  1.  Helping people in need.
  2. Keeping up with my Challenge.
  3. Stashbusting.

Making squares needn't be boring there are so many free ones to choose from online they are quick to make and are a great portable project too.

Thank you for all your kind best wishes for my upcoming surgery on Thursday, I'm hoping that it will go ahead as planned and it's not cancelled at the last minute which can happen quite frequently.  

I'm not sure when I will be able to post again but I will be back as soon as I'm able, I will have my ipad next to me so that I can keep up with what you have all been doing and I will be surrounded by yarn and needles so I will have plenty to keep me busy.

Take care all of you

love ya!

Linking with

Snickerdoodle Sunday
Handmade Monday - Creative Tuesday - Eyeloveknots - Link and share Wednesday - Lunamon Design - hookin on hump day

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Friday 8 May 2015

Five On Friday

My Five Little Snippets

Wouldn't it be nice if there were no time constraints and we could sit here all day reading and replying to lovely comments, visiting blogs and leaving comments.  That's where I found myself last Sunday morning, even though there was lots to do I allocated the Sunday morning slot just to do those things it was doable because of the bank holiday Monday I had a bit longer to do the other not so pleasurable things like housework.

I found it pleasurable because I was able to read every word rather than skimming through with one eye on the clock.  It also made me realise that although it was possible then, it's not always and so to keep this blogging adventure enjoyable I have to make some changes.  I love to receive your comments and I read each and every one but it's not always possible to reply so from now on I will only reply to questions but will still visit your blog if you have one when you leave me a comment, it may take me a while but I will eventually find my way there.

Health Matters

I was quite amazed to get two appointments through the post last week after waiting over two months for an MRI scan result I was quite taken aback to get an appointment for my Gall Bladder Surgery for next Thursday! and one for an Endoscopy on the 2nd June.  If you can remember I was apprehensive  about the MRI scan so you can imagine how I'm feeling about this, but I have had so many well wishes from you all and reassurances from those of you who have had the same operation it's made me feel much better about it so thank you, you are all lovely.  I will tell you all about it when it's over and done with.

If you can remember a couple of weeks ago I was feeling quite despondent because I had finished two of the crochet alongs I was involved with, well look what came in the post and lifted my spirits.

Can you see that cotton yarn? it was just 80p for 50 grams! such a bargain I'm planning on making lots of kitchen goodies with it, and the stylecraft yarn is for the Lily Pond CAL, I do have some yarn in my stash I can use for it but none of the main shades.

I am way behind as they are onto the third part already and I haven't even finished the first nearly there though. I don't really care if I catch up or not I just want to take it slow and enjoy it.

And if that wasn't enough look what else I ordered....

I have joined  Winwick Mums Sockalong! regular readers of my blog will know how I have struggled with the making of socks in the past, this time with the encouragement of all the lovely members of this group I am determined to have a wearable pair of socks before next winter. :)

My progress so far....

I have just received a lovely cute little 30 cm addi circular needle and I'm going to transfer my work onto that, I always get into a twist with dpns.

I have been having problems with my laptop this week it has become infected with malware in the form of adware those pesky adds that keep popping up all over the page and stop you from reading the content.  I have all the relevant anti virus packages  installed but this malware can still slip through.  I have spent the week scanning downloading software to stop it and just when I think I have cracked it, up it pops again. My son has told me I need to reformat my laptop as that's the only way to get rid of it so I'm waiting until he comes home at the beginning of June so that he can help me with it.  In the meantime I'm using my small laptop which is very slow and my ipad not ideal but better than nothing. Any expert advise would be greatly appreciated. :)

Have a great weekend.

Joining Amy with her....

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