Monday, 18 May 2020

Mermaids' Playtime

I'm really happy to be able to share my latest sock pattern with you all today. It's actually over a year old and I've been very bad about writing it up. The pattern is called 'Mermaids' Playtime' and I designed it for my friend Julia. She loves mermaids and I think that in a former life, she must have been one because she swims effortlessly, gliding through the water. I feel quite envious when I watch her. One day when we were at the beach, I was watching her in the sea and imagined her playing in the gently rippling waves, having fun with the mermaids. So that's how the sock came about. It uses the same stitch pattern as my recently released Rainbow Ripples trainer socks. But for this pattern, I've written it for two sizes, medium and large. It's an easily memorised 4 row pattern that creates beautiful waves of colour down the leg and foot. I used Stylecraft Head over Heels All Stars yarn in the 'Pool' colourway and it worked out perfectly. Beautiful shades of greens and blues to remind you of the ocean. The All Stars yarn range is currently on offer at WoolWarehouse for £5.99 a ball.

The pattern is available to download for free from my Ravelry page here. I decided to make it a free pattern because I'd already released the trainer sock as a free pattern, but if you feel like donating a little something to my JustGiving page, that would be very much appreciated. Thank you. xxx

PS This yarn also looks good as a trainer sock. I didn't quite manage to make both pairs from one ball, but if you did one pattern repeat less on the leg of the socks, I reckon you'd have enough to knit both! 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The kindness of friends

It's hard to believe that I'm about to start my 9th week of isolation. Not meeting friends is hard, especially when you live on your own. Flo does make a good housemate though and can usually be relied on for a cuddle or to listen to my ramblings, frequently meowing her replies (she's probably telling me to be quiet!) Thank goodness for technology so that I can still see and talk to people, although with the current state of my lockdown hair, I shall soon have to just have voice calls - or wear a hat!!

My friends have been so lovely, sending me little treats and surprises so I thought I'd share them with you.

*** A loaf of sundried tomato bread ***

*** A bunch of tulips ***

*** A  beautiful bookmark and painting ***

*** A bunch of bright flowers ***

*** Some yummy baked treats - sweet and savory scones and a mini carrot cake ***

I'm busy thinking of things that I can do for them, from the comfort of my own home. Any suggestions? Keep safe and I'll be back soon. xxx

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Trying to keep focused

Are you a monogamous knitter or crocheter? I wish that I was but I am afraid I am a bit of a crafting butterfly and flit from one project to another. This can result in not seeing much progress made on anything, which in turn can be a little disheartening. So in order to try to keep my focus, I have set myself 9 challenges to be completed during May, with some rewards thrown in if I manage to finish them all. That's the theory anyway, but I may already have become unstuck as far as the rewards go!  Here's my 9 challenges...

It is definitely helping me to stay focused having these particular projects to work on and I have already completed a couple! Yay me!

I sewed some safari animals for Dottie to go with the On Safari cloth book I made for her birthday. They are super-cute and pretty easy to sew. I added a shaker to the lion, crinkly plastic in the elephant's ears, a squeaker in the zebra and a bean bag to give the giraffe a squidgy tummy! They come as a panel from Moda. I bought mine from Wool Warehouse and they still have plenty in stock if you know a little one who would love them too. 

Still with Dottie, I knitted her a cardigan. I'm waiting to hear how it is size-wise before knitting any more. I used the Pop! cardigan pattern by Rachel Atkinson. It's a lovely pattern, knit top down. I also chose to knit the sleeves in the round so there was very little finishing at the end. I used Stylecraft Bambino yarn in the colour Heather and I think it's a really pretty colour. It has some sweet little kitty buttons too.

On Instagram, I saw that my local hospital were asking people to sew flags from different countries - 92 in total - to represent all the different nationalities of the nurses working at the hospital, to celebrate International Nurses Day (which happens to be today.) I was given Greece and Malta to sew, and we were asked to add things to each flag to show what the NHS means to us. I was a bit limited by the fabric choices that I had, but managed to find enough bits to make the flags. Hopefully there will be some photos on social media showing all the flags. I believe that they are going to form a permanent display somewhere in the hospital.

My crochet temperature blanket is up to date. I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive in the post to be able to complete this week's squares as I'm running out of a few colours. I am really enjoying working on this and it's going to be lovely and big and squishy when it's done. The first photo shows the progress from the start of the year with the daily highs (top) and lows (bottom) and week 17's squares waiting to be joined. The other photo shows week 18's temperature, all joined in.

Finally, I finished my Rainbow Ripple socks which I knit as part of the 2.6 Challenge to raise money for Myositis UK. I'm delighted that they managed to raise £220 and they are on their way to the winner. Thank you so much if you made a donation. Every penny counts and the charity (and I) so appreciate it. 

My biggest project to complete is a blanket that I'm knitting in Stylecraft Bellissima Chunky yarn. I hadn't done any work on it for absolutely ages and was pleasantly surprised when I saw how much I'd actually knitted. I'm trying to do a little bit every day in order to be finished by the end of May. Then come the rewards! Although I did allow myself an early reward when I saw that StripeyCatYarns was having a Bank Holiday weekend challenge to knit a sock over the three days. How could I not join in, especially having recently added to my stripey sock yarn stash with two beautiful colourways. I did manage to knit one sock, but have put it away in a bag so that I'm not tempted to knit its sibling until the blanket is done! If you're interested, the colourway I used is called Snap Dragon.

Another reward is to knit myself a Love Note sweater. I've wanted one for ages but just never got around to knitting one so decided to treat myself to some yarn from Truly Hooked. I've been invited to join in a Love Note KAL with some Instagram friends, so I might reward myself by winding the yarn later today! But first I have a sock pattern to write up. Keep safe - I'm staying at home for the long haul - and catch up again soon. xxx

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

2.6 Challenge

The Sunday before last, I took part in the 2.6 Challenge. This was devised to raise money particularly for the smaller charities who rely on fundraisers taking part in the London Marathon. With this year's event being postponed, it is having serious consequences for charities such as Myositis UK, as the London Marathon is their biggest fundraiser each year. On the day that the marathon should have been run, I knitted for 2.6 hours on a pair of Rainbow Ripple trainer socks, and have subsequently added more 26 minute knitting slots until yesterday, when I finished them! I have been asking people on social media to donate £2.60 to my JustGiving page, and then all names will be put into a hat and a winner chosen at random. The winner will receive the socks. They will fit a medium sized adult foot. 

If you'd like to add your name into the hat, please make a donation of £2.60 over on my JustGiving page here. Make sure you tick the box to share your details so I can get in contact with you if you're the winner. I'm leaving the donations open until midnight on Friday 8th May and will pick a winner on Saturday. The gorgeous yarn is from Fab Funky Fibres and the pattern is my own Rainbow Ripples socks which you can find here if you'd like to knit your own pair. Thank you so much for your support and keep safe. xxx

Monday, 4 May 2020

Zoo animals Norfolk stampede!

Yesterday afternoon, some wild animals escaped from a zoo just outside Norwich. It is not yet known how the animals made their bid for freedom, but when the keepers went to feed them, they discovered that a lion, an elephant, a zebra and a giraffe were all missing from their enclosures. 

The zoo owner said: 'These animals, although used to humans, must be regarded as wild and must not on any account be approached by members of the public.' He then added that if they were spotted, the police should be informed as a matter of urgency. 

Later that day, there were reports of sightings in a village north of Norwich. All four animals were seen and appeared to have been joined by a black panther, although there have been no reports from the zoo that a panther has gone missing. 

A member of the public sent us these exclusive photographs.

If you've got a story to share about these missing animals, please leave a comment below! xxx