Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Teddies for Ukraine

Someone who I follow on Instagram put out a request last week for volunteers to make a few teddies for her sister who is helping to coordinate homing Ukrainian refugees in her local area. She wanted to make the children feel welcome by gifting each of them a Ukrainian teddy bear. As soon as I read her post, I knew that I wanted to help. I can't even begin to imagine the trauma that these poor families have been through. The pattern I used is based on the Trauma Teddy pattern from Children 1st. There is a crochet version as well as a knitted bear pattern. However, I modified the pattern quite considerably so that I could knit it entirely in the round. I don't especially like knitting toys and sewing them together as it usually involves a lot of fiddle-faddle, and I am usually not that happy with the finished toy. I knitted two little bears using oddments of Stylecraft Special DK - Mocha for the bear, Saffron for the jumper, Aster for the trousers and Pistachio and Wisteria for the scarves. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out and they are already on their way to meet their new owners and be loved and hugged. xxx


Friday, 22 April 2022

Beautiful Spring!

We have been enjoying some really wonderful warm weather this month and there are plenty of signs in the garden that spring has well and truly sprung. I think that spring is my favourite season; it's so uplifting to see the garden come to life again and all the birds being more active. I'm fortunate to have a garden that is well stocked with perennial plants that require little help to reappear year after year. My neighbours very kindly cut my grass for me and help to keep it under control. When Mr JK was alive, the garden almost became an extension of our living space, and we would spend a huge amount of time out there. I have found it hard to enjoy spending time outside as all I could see was Mr JK's empty chair at the table. 

So this year I decided that I needed to do something to remedy this, as he would have wanted me to still enjoy being in the garden. I treated myself to one of those rattan lounge sets with a small table, as well as a garden rug! My friends moved the wooden table and chairs to a new position, and I have a lovely new and different seating area to enjoy. They put it up for me while I was having my last week of infusions and it was a lovely surprise to come home to. I was pretty unwell during that week with horrible sickness and a pounding headache but am hoping that the next round will be better. The rheumatology team are so kind and each time I have any side effects, they look at ways of preventing them the next time. I am half way through my trial of immunoglobulin infusions and it looks like it might be working. So if it's going to become my regular treatment, I don't want to feel so unwell for a week every month! Keep everything crossed for me!

It has really made a massive difference to have something completely new and I have been enjoying spending time outside, either knitting or reading. Flo definitely approves too and has tested out all the seats on the sofas! I'm going to make some colourful cushions for them so watch this space! It really is a lovely place to be and I am aiming to spend some time outside every day as I know it's good for my well-being. I think that I might sew some bunting to hang up around the garden too, and perhaps invest in some new solar lights. Have you got any other suggestions of things that I can add to my new outdoor space? xxx


Friday, 8 April 2022

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 92 for Easter

It's getting close to Easter so I thought I'd celebrate by having a raffle! I've rummaged deep into my stash and found some pretty yarn that reminds me of Spring flowers. The prize includes a beautiful mug that has been made and donated by Sophie from Under the Willow Pottery. I already have one of Sophie's mugs and it's quickly become one of my favourites. It's so comfortable to hold. This particular mug has a little ball of yarn on it and 'create' stamped into the clay. Whoever wins it is going to be very happy indeed! Thank you so much Sophie for your generous donation! The yarn includes a skein from The Fibre Fox in the colourway 'Mini eggs', a gorgeously speckled skein from Life in the Long Grass, a sisters sock set from Ducky Darlings and 4 miniskeins which are from Wild Rose Yarn (I think!) There's a fun sock print zipped project bag with a lampwork bead on the zipper pull, a pin badge, a postcard, some stitch markers, a bag of Cadbury's Mini Eggs and some Yorkshire Tea bags. As ever, the raffle is open to all, regardless of where you live!

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 10th April, closing at 23:45. 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.  Myositis is a rare disease and that means that there isn't as much research done to help find better treatment and ultimately a cure. Every single donation is important. My fundraising total is currently £27,942 and it would be great to pass £28,000! Thank you and stay safe! xxx


Friday, 1 April 2022


I've had a couple of rather unproductive weeks, not able to settle or focus on anything in particular and generally feeling a bit meh! I didn't even make it to the East Anglia Yarn Festival which was held last weekend about 10 minutes drive from home. Part of me wanted to go, but I managed to talk myself out of it. I think that I've spent so much time at home on my own that stepping out into the big wide world again is hard. It all feels like so much effort that it's easier not to bother. I was also feeling a little anxious about an appointment down at King's College Hospital at the start of this week. Because some of my myositis symptoms are unusual, my rheumy consultant referred me to neurology to see if there might be another explanation. I travelled down to London on Sunday with some sock knitting to keep me occupied. I was with the consultant for two whole hours! I don't think that I've ever had such a thorough prodding and poking about. Blood tests have been done and more tests to come, but I'm hoping that these tests will eliminate rather than confirm anything nasty.

I am loving my new mug from Sophie who is Under The Willow Pottery. It is such a comfortable shape to hold, you really feel like you are hugging it. The little yarn ball and 'create' stamped into it are such a lovely design. I'll let you into a secret - Sophie has given me a mug to use as a prize in my fundraising raffles! More details coming very soon!

I bought this mosaic heart from Pretty Little Mosaics recently. Rachel is planning to make some more of these hearts to support the Ukraine humanitarian crisis, so if you'd like to buy one, please keep an eye on her website.

My bag of sock WIPs is sat next to me by the sofa. I've not managed to knit any complete pairs of socks for the rheumatology nurses this month but have several half-pairs! I am back at the hospital on Monday for my third round of infusions. My life just seems to revolve around hospitals at the moment! Let's hope that the cannula gods are smiling on me.

What do you do if you find yourself in a bit of a slump? All suggestions welcome! xxx