Back to the Future

No matter what your sport, it’s probably true to say that if you don’t work up a sweat you’re not putting in enough effort, and not getting much out of that little effort either.  But no matter how hard I work, if my feet and legs are cold I can’t concentrate on isolating my muscles or getting in the zone.  Anyone else have that problem? Thick socks and long woolly socks made my feet slide and overheat;  then my friend’s husband’s 1980’s-themed birthday party prompted a vision of Jane Fonda complete with legwarmers. …Read more …

Cone you believe it?

What is the attraction of traffic cones?  Why do people like to move them, wear them or take them home? A friend of a friend (ahem) collected about nineteen of them over a period of six weeks so that…well, I have  no idea why.  I do know that he and his friends would joust with them on a Saturday night, one on each arm.  They could definitely do some damage with them. And the more he collected them, the more he seemed to come across.   Little groups of them congregated on street corners…Read more …

Introducing the Grainfather

Cue haunting music...no, scratch that, this isn't about the Godfather but the Grainfather, a nano brewery and the ideal birthday present for the man who has everything (read that as the man who has very specific tastes).  Duly ordered and delivered, and with no expectation of being wrapped as DH had researched and selected the system himself, the Grainfather took up residence behind the settee in the lounge, ready for action.  But I wanted to come up with a surprise for the day itself. My DH now knows that yarn is likely to…Read more …

Hopping into Spring

It's that froggy time of year again; time to find or make something along amphibian lines for my friend's birthday, something that can be sent through the post to arrive on the day.  Now, I've nothing against presents arriving after the event - how can I, after a three-present haul when we met up last month - catching up after a birthday or two...                        Read more …

Hats off to Head Bands

I’m not a hat person.  Never have been.  Whether it’s a wide-brimmed sun hat, a fascinator, a beanie or a bobble hat, I always look like somebody’s maiden aunt.  Worse, particularly when I remove the hat, I get a glimpse of my future eighty-year-old self.  A baseball cap is slightly better but jars with a smart coat and has few insulating properties.  However, the head band has solved most of those problems. Apart from on the ski slopes, I spotted one, sported by a sharp dresser on the high street.  I looked online,…Read more …

A Woolly Christmas to you all

Ah, Christmas.  What to make and give to friends this year?  In September I started searching for ideas among those free patterns generously shared by other knitters, and struck lucky.  Five different Christmas tree decorations which suited each individual on the receiving end of a knitted gift, and I don't mind telling you I enjoyed every knitting minute of making them (even when those twiddly bits of mistletoe went missing under the sofa).                                        …Read more …

Easter en France

It’s Easter.  I'm in France.  What do I give my visiting French friends as a gift?  Eggs?  Chocolate?  Chocolate eggs?  Egg cosies?  Chocolate egg cosies? Of course.  Themed knitted egg cosies for chocolate eggs.  But I’m not just going to hand them to them on a plate; they’ve got to find them first, so following clues in French, English, Franglais or Frenglish, depending on their skills and enthusiasm, voilà...                                                …Read more …

Mugs à la Mode

Winter.  Wind, rain, hail beating against the window.  Maybe even some snow?  Bring it on, as long as I'm on the inside looking out, preferably with a cup or mug in my hand. But not a scalding china cup or a knuckle-burning mug.   Oh no, a cosy, woolly handful keeping my hands and my tea warm.                                 All these patterns are found in Mug Hugs by Alison Howard A great little book, full of fun designs and…Read more …

Fun, Festive AND Useful?

The annual dilemma - what to knit and give for Christmas presents.  A coaster?  Done that.  A personalised dishcloth?  So last year.  A bookmark?  Whaahh?  Yes,  a bookmark can be just as fun and festive, and personalised, as it is useful.  So as my colleagues love books almost as much as they drink tea...             Thanks to Cveti at http://cvetulka.blogspot.com for the pattern and the inspiration to make and enhance further this great design.    Read more …