Friday, 16 April 2021

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 53

What a strange week of weather we have had here in the UK. It's felt like all the seasons with sunshine, strong winds, hail and snow all in the space of a couple of days. The sun is shining here in Norfolk today and the garden has definite spring vibes, so I thought that a spring-themed prize was in order.

The prize includes a beautiful project bag with a lamp work bead from Three Bags Full, a copy of '350 Knitting Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets' by Betty Barnden which has been donated by Search Press and a skein of Mountain in Colors yarn which has been donated by an Instagram friend Angel Oak Creations. Mr & Mrs Rabbit Yarns have donated a 'bunch' of their roses in the form of five 20g miniskein yarn cakes, along with a lavender bag, bunny stitch marker and sachet of herbal tea. To complete the prize, there's a tube of Crafters Balm which has been donated by another Instagram friend Karen and a cute pin badge. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated a prize.












I'm sure that you know the score by now, but I'll tell you how to enter anyway! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 18th April, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my JustGiving 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. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. Every single donation is important. Thank you and stay safe! xxx

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Easter socks

I am so in love with my latest pair of self striping socks! The yarn is from Dragon Hill Studio, and it has been dyed to look like Cadbury's Creme Eggs. It is only dyed up once a year before Easter and I wasn't quick enough to snaffle any last year, so I made sure I was ready this year! The colourway is called 'How do you knit yours?' and it arrived in a box with added treats! The yarn is caked up in such a way that it shows off the colours beautifully. 






I quickly chose a project bag to coordinate nicely and cast on with the silver mini contrast yarn. Instead of adding an afterthought heel, I decided to do a short row heel and I think that it fits me slightly better. I also tried out a round toe instead of my usual wedge toe, just for a change. I'll see how comfortable it is once I've worn them. 






I got distracted between socks with another project, but finished the second sock earlier this week. I have enough yarn left over to make another pair too, so am very happy about that! Needless to say, the Creme Eggs are long gone! I'm sure they're not as big as they used to be, although they are a lot sweeter than I remember too! Keeping with my love of childhood sweets, I've ordered some Liquorice Allsorts yarn from Stripey Cat Yarns too! I don't think that I will ever tire of stripy socks! Stay safe and well. xxx












 

Friday, 9 April 2021

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 52

I don't know about you, but I've really missed not being able to go to yarn festivals over the last year. The yarny community have done a sterling job in organising online events, but there's nothing quite like seeing the yarn, squishing it and putting several skeins side by side to see how well they go together is there? Yarndale is one fibre festival that I'm never managed to visit, but it's on my list of 'must do's'. This week's Fibre4Fibre raffle prize will let you imagine that you've been to Yarndale yourself! Intrigued? Then read on.

This week's prize is like a yarn festival goodie bag! The prize includes a Yarndale tote bag, resuable bamboo Yarndale coffee (or tea) cup, Yarndale stitchmarkers and a Yarndale pin badge. The Yarndale team have also donated two balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply yarn, one in the exclusive Yarndale 'Hope' colourway and the other in Butterscotch. To go with all these treats, there is a skein of baby alpaca yarn which has been donated by Tribe Yarns, two 50g skeins of a superwash merino yarn in a glorious mix of rich colours, a blank greetings card which has been donated by Lucy Locket Land and a pair of Hiya Hiya circular knitting needles which have been donated by Craft House Magic. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated a prize. What a wonderful festival haul!











I'm sure that you know the score by now, but I'll tell you how to enter anyway! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 11th April, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my JustGiving 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. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. Every single donation is important. Thank you and stay safe! xxx

Thursday, 8 April 2021

A Year of Shielding

It's hard to believe that I have been shielding for more than a year now. Although the official government advice to shield has been paused again, I am not planning to socialise until later in the year when all adults have been vaccinated. When shielding was paused last summer, I did see friends for a socially distanced cuppa in the garden, but that has been it. Apart from going to medical appointments (and to the mobile post office van to post the Fibre4Fibres prizes), I haven't left home. Tomorrow I will get my second dose of the Covid vaccine, so that's another step towards a more normal existence. I'm in the CEV group (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) and the vaccines weren't tested on people with suppressed immune systems, so it's a bit of an unknown as to whether or not they develop antibodies. I'm hoping that I might be able to get an antibody blood test in due course as that would hopefully provide reassurance that it's safe for me to go out into the big wide world again.

I've learnt a lot about myself over the past 12 months. I'm more resilient than I thought and despite the isolation, I've kept myself pretty upbeat. Having the Fibre4Fibres fundraising to organise has been really helpful, as it's become a part of my weekly routine and has given me something positive to focus on. As a former teacher, I had to follow a timetable, and I've found it quite helpful to plan my days. Obviously it's not set in stone and plans can change, but I think that routine is important, especially when you're on your own. When you give some structure to the day, it keeps you occupied; even if it's an afternoon of reading! I have read a lot more during lockdown and also listened to audiobooks. I am not a huge TV watcher, and really didn't want to get into the habit of having the television on as background noise. I'm very thankful that I've had Flo to keep me company. She listens to my chatting and can generally be relied upon to meow at the appropriate moments!  I've also kept busy with my designing and have published several sock patterns. (Please be aware that these are all Ravelry links.)














*** Alder socks ***



I've also been working on a jumper design that you may well be seeing some more of later in the year! 





This jumper uses my Good Striations pattern around the yoke. I don't think it will become a published pattern, but never say never! 




Health-wise, it's been a roller coaster of a year. Almost all of  my hospital appointments have been by telephone. That's difficult when you're needing physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. I had a 12 week cycle of chemotherapy last summer to try to get my myositis under control. That didn't make any significant difference, so I am on a different immunosuppressant now which is usually given to patients following an organ transplant, so it's pretty heavy duty. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know about my cancer diagnosis and surgery earlier this year. People with myositis are more susceptible to cancer in the first few years following diagnosis. Conversely, myositis can also be cancer-driven - it's called a paraneoplastic syndrome - so there is a very small chance that things might begin to improve for me. I'm holding onto that little glimmer of hope and thinking positively. 

I’m looking forward to having the choice to do things that I previously took for granted. The shielding was only ever advice from the government, but both my consultants told me that I was at very high risk of developing complications if I caught Covid, so it would have been foolish to ignore the experts. When it feels safe, I’ll be heading to the coast and that will definitely involve eating chips! Seeing friends, going out for meals, going to the theatre - all things that I’ve missed. I’d like to go back to Kos again too when I’m well enough. Even a trip to the supermarket will have me giddy with excitement! What have you missed during lockdown?  Stay safe and well. xxx

Friday, 2 April 2021

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 51

Hello and Happy Easter weekend to you! I'm totally confused by what day it is, but my phone tells me that today is Friday, so it's time to share another week's raffle prize with you. Last week saw the total pass £15,000 which was a wonderful moment and I did a virtual happy dance! Thank you so much, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am.

Today's prize is a bumper collection of Stylecraft goodies. The prize includes three balls of Cabaret yarn, three balls of Starlight yarn, two balls of Sundae yarn, two balls of Life Changes yarn, a Dreamcatcher yarn cake, a Stylecraft tote bag and key ring, some gift tags, a Stylecraft crochet magazine with some of their most popular patterns and a set of rainbow bamboo crochet hooks. Thank you Stylecraft for your generosity.











I'm sure that you know the score by now, but I'll tell you how to enter anyway! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 4th April, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my JustGiving 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. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. Every single donation is important. Let's begin the next chapter of fundraising - £20,000 feels like it's a real possibility now! Thank you and stay safe! xxx

 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Sock Quintet

I've been on a bit of a sock knitting frenzy over the past few weeks. They are my go-to  project when I need some mindless knitting and I can't concentrate on anything more complicated. Three of the pairs are for me, and two are gifts. They are all plain vanilla socks where the beautiful yarn is able to show itself off and doesn't need any extra pattern.



*** Pair number 1 ***

These are knit using a skein of yarn from The Yarn Badger and they are quite possibly my favourite pair of socks at the moment! The yarn colourway is called 'Double Rainbow' and it's my first sock in the Rainbow Sock Chronicles 2021, which is being run by Kelly from Lay Family Yarn and Jooles from Sew Sweet Violet. The contrast heel and toe is a mini from Stripey Cat Yarn. 




*** Pair number 2 ***
This pair are knit using a sock set from Stripey Cat Yarns in a colourway called 'To New Beginnings - 2021' but you can still purchase it under its new name 'Nature's Rainbow'. I chose this yarn to knit when I had to go into hospital recently as I thought the good yarn vibes would help! These are also part of my Rainbow Sock Chronicles socks.




*** Pair number 3 ***

Another stripy rainbow pair, this time using a self striping yarn from The Knitting Goddess in the colourway 'Rainbow on Silver'. This yarn felt a little bit thinner than the two previous yarns, and might have knitted up slightly more densely if I'd used 2.25mm needles instead of my usual 2.5mm ones. But I still love them! 




*** Pair number 4 ***

This pair are a gift for my friend's niece as she requested a pair of rainbow striped socks. I bought the yarn from Fab Funky Fibres in their 'Walking on Rainbows' colourway and they are really stunning. I am in awe of the self-striping yarn dyers because it takes hours of work to dye these skeins. 




*** Pair number 5 ***

This pair is for my friend's birthday next week and I've used a ball of Opal 4 ply sock yarn that I had in my stash. You can't fail with Opal yarn as it washes and wears really well, and is nice and cosy too. 




Which pair are your favourites? Leave a comment to let me know! Keep safe and well. xxx



 

Friday, 26 March 2021

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 50



This week's giveaway marks a milestone in my fundraising as it's my 50th giveway! Kind of like my 'golden' anniversary of giveaways. I'm excited to be able to continue with my weekly raffles and am planning to keep them going until the end of 2021. Thank you so much for all your support in my fundraising. I know that Myositis UK has plans for funding several research projects so your donations really will make a difference.

Today's prize has an Easter theme again. The prize includes a gorgeous Harris Hare who has been crocheted and donated by the incredibly talented Emma Varnam. She designs so many sweet animal toys who are cuddly and huggable and I am thrilled that Emma has given me this one to give away to someone. My lovely Instagram friend Ann (BusyPottering on Instagram) has raided her vintage Laura Ashley fabrics to sew a gorgeous spring project bag - it has exterior pockets for extra storage too! Ann has also donated a set of zingy spring green mini skeins that came to her via Marja (marjamakes on Instagram) and a wooden darning egg (I forgot to put it in the first photo!) Fran from Burrow & Soar has donated a pretty sock set in the Crocus colourway and Sarah from Scruffy Dog Eco has donated a naturally dyed skein of yarn in the Creme Egg colourway. I feel chocolate pangs just looking at it! To go with the yarn, there's a box of Cadbury's Creme Eggs and a sachet of Creme Egg tea! Last but not least, there's a very cute bunny stitch marker from Eva Faith. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated a prize.













I'm sure that you know the score by now, but I'll tell you how to enter anyway! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 28th March, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my JustGiving 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. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your details with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. Every single donation is important. Can we get to £15,000 this week? It feels kind of appropriate to mark my 50th prize. Don't forget that the clocks go forward an hour on Sunday, so you've got an hour less to get your virtual raffle tickets! Thank you and stay safe! xxx