Monday, 30 March 2020

Shielding week 1


Well, what a strange and scary world we are in right now. I had an email from my consultant last week to tell me that it was vital that I stay at home for at least 12 weeks as I have a high risk of developing serious complications should I catch the Coronavirus. I also took part in a webinar which was presented by two myositis experts, and that brought home the vulnerable position I'm in. So I will be battening down the hatches and won't be going out in the big wide world until at least the middle of June! I'm very grateful to have a garden so at least I can go outside each day and appreciate the fresh air, birdsong and nature carrying on regardless. There are some wonderful signs of Spring right now and that gives me hope that we will one day be able to look back on the start of 2020 and remind ourselves of how lucky we are and how much we take for granted.





Flo loves being outside, especially if she has company. It was so warm last week that she enjoyed laying on the paving stones, soaking up the heat and basking in the sunshine. It's a bit chillier so far this week, but she is still coming outside with me for her daily constitutional.





I've been trying, without any luck so far, to book a supermarket delivery! There are no slots available for weeks ahead. I'm fortunate to have friends who are happy to go shopping for me, but I don't like asking for help. Also, now that there are restrictions on how much you can buy of an individual item, it means that they may have to do a separate shop for me which involves another supermarket trip, more queuing up etc etc. I stayed up until midnight last night so I could go online when the next available slots at Tesco were released. I managed to get a time slot but then got stuck in an online queue, waiting to start shopping. After 20 minutes of being in the queue, I still hadn't started the shop and I fell asleep. Of course, by the morning, my slot had timed out and was no longer available!! So I will try again tonight. I want to try to keep a tiny bit of independence if I can. It's very frustrating though and it must be awful for the elderly who don't use technology but are meant to be shielding. Hopefully the supermarkets will get something sorted out to make it a bit easier for those of us who can't get out to shop.

I've been working on a shawl using the new Stylecraft Naturals cotton and bamboo yarn. It's all done but needs a bit of blocking and some artistic photos and a model! So it might be a while before that happens! Self-isolation and all that! I added some recycled glass beads just before the cast off row and am really pleased with that. The yarn was lovely to knit with and I'm already planning another project.





I'm currently using leftovers from my rainbow stripy socks to knit a pair of ripple stitch trainer socks as a birthday present for my friend. I am playing a game of yarn chicken but hopefully I will come out victorious! I thought that ripply rainbow feet would be happy feet, and we all need to have happy things in our lives right now, don't we? I first came up with the pattern a year ago and have been rather lazy about writing it up. But now that I've reminded myself of the pattern and deciphered my scribbles, I will get it written up and published in the next couple of weeks. Now I've told you, I've got to do it, right?! Please nag me if it doesn't appear. Stay safe everyone! xxx







Friday, 20 March 2020

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 17


Another week, another prize! Here's what you could win if you decide to buy a virtual raffle ticket or two in this week's Fibre 4 Fibres giveaway in aid of Myositis UK.

This week's prize is slightly different in that it's sewing themed. Not long ago I reviewed a lovely book, Learn to Sew in 30 Minutes: Machine Sewing on my blog and thought that it would be fun to give away a copy of the book along with some bits and pieces to get someone started on their sewing journey. You can read more about the book here. The prize includes a copy of the book, which contains 25 projects to improve your sewing skills. Along with the book, there are four half metre lengths of fabric from Lewis & Irene, Dashwood Studio and Andover Fabrics which have been generously donated by Jo who owns Sew Creative in Petersfield. It's a fabulous shop and I thoroughly recommend a visit if you're in the area. Jo has also donated three reels of ribbon trim and some bias binding. Thank you Jo. There's a Sew Me Something kit to make your own zippy bag, a couple of extra zips, a mini charm square pack, a reel of Handmade with Love ribbon, a tape measure, some pins, more ribbons, and an assortment of buttons including some pretty fabric covered ones and some wooden 'handmade' buttons donated by Vicky from Vera and Bess. Thank you Vicky! I think you'll agree that it's a lovely collection of sewing goodies.









You have the chance to win all this for a minimum donation of £2! Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Are you tempted to enter? Here's what you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 22nd March, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my Just Giving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box that shares your details with me so that I can contact you if you're the winner and also put 'sew' in the comments so I know which raffle you've entered. Your donations have helped me to raise vital funds for Myositis UK which will be used to fund research projects so huge thanks for your support! The next milestone is £5000 which is halfway to my target. xxx 


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Hunkering down


The news is quite depressing and scary at the moment with the Coronavirus pandemic seemingly spreading at an alarming rate. The government has started making noises about the elderly and other 'at risk' people self-isolating for a significant length of time - possibly as long as four months. I guess that I fall into the 'at risk' category because my immune system is compromised by taking daily immunosuppressants as well as having had some infusions of other immunosuppressant drugs. Although I have been on my own since Mr JK died, so am used to my own company (and Flo's of course!), it's nice to know that up until now, I've had the choice of when to go out and meet with friends. Now that luxury may be about to vanish. So I'm starting to make plans about how I will spend my time if enforced isolation comes into play.



I will read and listen to audiobooks. I have a mahoosive pile of books to read, so there will definitely be reading each day, escaping into virus-free worlds.




I will dig out the jigsaw mat and get a jigsaw underway. Mr JK and I always did the Ravensburger 1000 piece Christmas jigsaw, but I haven't done one since he died. Is it wrong to do a Christmas jigsaw at Easter I wonder?! Who cares, I will make up my own rules. The hardest part will be to keep Flo off the table as instantly she's not allowed on it, she decides that it is the comfiest place to sleep!




I will catch up on some much loved TV programmes and films. I might even binge-watch the whole of Downton Abbey again; it was such a lovely series. If I get desperate, Mr JK had the complete set of Carry On films! Oooh matron! Let's hope it doesn't come to that! 




I will do some colouring to relax and chill out. I used to love colouring books when I was a child and can still remember the excitement of getting a new pack of felt tip pens each Christmas. Bliss!




I will knit myself some lovely happy stripy socks. This yarn colourway is called 'Self Addressed Love Letter' and comes from The Yarn Badger. I think that the name is highly appropriate for the current climate. You've got to love yourself and take care of yourself.




I will enjoy spending time with Flo; she's quite good at chatting back to me with an agreeing meow so I will always have someone to talk to.




I will spend some time outside in the garden each day, topping up my vitamin D and getting some fresh air. If I'm able to, I might even start a little bit of tidying up. But even if it's just sitting and drinking a cuppa, then that's ok too.

I'm sure that lots more ideas will come to me, but I'd love to hear of any suggestions you might have to help prevent cabin fever. Keep safe, wherever you are. xxx

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Stylecraft Naturals yarn




I've got a delicious new yarn to share with you today. It's part of the new Naturals range from Stylecraft, and this particular one is a mix of 40% cotton and 60% bamboo, making it vegan-friendly. It's soft and silky to work with, doesn't split and has a beautiful drape! What's not to love? 




There are 43, yes 43! colours in the range, beautifully soft, chalky shades and I want them ALL!  Each season, there will be set core shades and the designs released will feature these colours. This season, the 8 core shades are Lilac, Lavender, Sea Foam, Surf, Citronelle, Spring Green, Pale Pink and Coral. Aren't they just gorgeous? 




Each ball is 100g, has 250m of yarn and the RRP is £4.75.




I've picked out Seam Foam and Surf and am teaming them with Ecru to knit a shawl. I'm just making the pattern up as I go along and will see how it looks when it's finished! It's quite fun not being restricted by a pattern, but just going with the flow! xxx




Friday, 13 March 2020

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 16


Good morning to you! In case you're wondering whether you've missed a giveaway, let me put your mind at rest. This is really preview 15, but it's my 16th giveaway, so I decided to use the correct number to stop confusing myself! I didn't preview the very first giveaway that I held back in December last year. So now that we've got that straight, let me share with you this week's prize that you could win if you buy a virtual raffle ticket or two in this week's Fibre 4 Fibres giveaway in aid of Myositis UK.

This week's prize is for the crochet-lovers amongst you. Amanda from Little Box of Crochet has donated one of their February boxes, and it's packed full of gorgeous treats. I haven't opened the box myself because I want the winner to have the thrill of opening it for themselves, but you can see the contents from the photos that I've taken from their Instagram account. It really is a very special box and Amanda was very keen for me to have this particular box to give away for that very reason. As well as the Little Box of Crochet (which would cost you about £38 if you subscribed to the LBOC), there are plenty of other treats for you. There is a Team Crochet bag to keep your projects in, a sticker and a pen donated by Lana Bou Shop, a crochet cross stitch mini kit, some Ellie Beth crochet stickers, some Little Box of Crochet project tags and a little 'Crocheted by' stamp and ink pad so you can make your own gift labels. Thank you so much Amanda and Kate for your donations.

















You have the chance to win all this for a minimum donation of £2! Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Are you tempted to enter? Here's what you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 15th March, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my Just Giving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box that shares your details with me so that I can contact you if you're the winner and also put 'Little Box' in the comments so I know which raffle you've entered. Your donations have helped me to raise £2483 for Myositis UK so far so huge thanks for your support! The next milestone is £2500 which is one quarter of the way to my target. xxx 


Friday, 6 March 2020

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 14


It's Friday so it's time to tell you all about this week's prize that you could win if you buy a virtual raffle ticket or two in this week's Fibre 4 Fibres giveaway in aid of Myositis UK.

It's all about green this week with some of the lovely things I was given at last week's knitting retreat. The prize includes a beautiful stole, 'Autumn Leaves' designed by Jared Flood, expertly knitted using Rowan Pure Wool Superwash yarn by Emma from Seren Yarns. Emma has also donated a skein of her hand dyed fingering weight yarn in the colourway Pistachio. This yarn is 75% wool and 25% nylon, so it's perfect for socks and other accessories. The pretty, coordinating project bag has been stitched by Emma too. Paula from Eva Faith has donated some pretty stitch markers, and there are two balls of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in a zingy green colour. Thank you so much Emma and Paula for your donations.










You have the chance to win all this for a minimum donation of £2! Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Are you tempted to enter? Here's what you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 8th March, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my Just Giving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box that shares your details with me so that I can contact you if you're the winner and also put 'green' in the comments so I know which raffle you've entered. Your donations have helped me to raise £2321 for Myositis UK so far so huge thanks for your support! The next milestone is £2500 which is one quarter of the way to my target. xxx 



Thursday, 5 March 2020

Happy Feet!


My stripy socks are finished and I abso-flipping-lutely love them! I am a huge fan of both self-striping yarns and bright, rainbow colours so these tick both boxes very nicely. The afterthought heel, a new-to-me skill from last week's knitting retreat is perfect for this kind of yarn. Flo seems to approve too as I struggled to take a photo without her photobombing it! They will brighten up these dull days no end. The yarn is from Fab Funky Fibres if you're interested. Have a good day! xxx