Coasters on Demand

With another pair of tea cup coasters and more compliments under my belt, I was flattered to get requests for another couple of sets from my French friend – for her mother-in-law and her neighbour. At the risk of being boring, here they are...  Read more …

A Nutty Yarn

Oh dear.  The English are getting a bad name.  I gave some knitted Christmas pudding covers for individual chocolates to use as table favours at Christmas to my French friends.  They've since put a walnut in each one to preserve the pudding shape while they're on display.  Their neighbour, recenty spotting them,  is now convinced that the English like to keep their walnuts in little individual woolly covers... she couldn't stop laughing.  She laughed almost as much as she did on hearing that I'd made grape jelly with our grape harvest, rather than…Read more …

Warm Hands Warm Heart

Well, here they are, the hand warmers for birthday presents for three lovely girls. I had a huge (and I mean huge) ball of cream DK yarn which was very easy to work with. The pattern for the hand warmers is a basic 3k 3p rib, casting on 42 stitches and knitting until the work measures 20cms.  After casting off, put the two long sides together and sew up, leaving a gap of 3-4cms or so for your thumb, 4cms from the top.   Knit two of these.  The flowers were made from…Read more …

Frogs’ Eggs?

It's that time of year when I like to come up with something original, and...well...froggy for my friend's birthday.  Last time I produced a dishcloth, and after a year's experience, voilà! Thank you oliverboliver - this was just what I was looking for. Although originally a hat for an Innocent Smoothie, this works just as well as an egg cosy, though do you really need a reason?Read more …

Coasting Towards Teatime

Tea, teacups, teapots – to my French friend, these epitomise the English. From her family’s recent visits to London she has tea in beautiful patterned tins; she has bone china teacups, and now a teapot in a beautiful floral design. What else could I make as a quick gift but a set of cup-shaped coasters? A tea cosy is on the cards, of course, but an image of her sipping tea, little finger crooked at just the right angle, means there’s plenty of opportunity for a few more tea-themed knits...      …Read more …

A Loving Cup

A quick knit for Valentine's Day with a long return - a cosy cup of Rosie Lea or coffee, and bags of admiration and compliments.  As someone once said, 'Knitting makes the heart (and the tea or coffee) stay warmer' or something like that. This pattern was quick and easy to make, and my first attempt at cables.  I reduced the number of rows by just a few to avoid woolly mouthfuls, and then found that it fits taller mugs just as well.  The two Valentine recipients (not both mine) loved them.  I…Read more …

It’s no Tribble at all…

As a change from dishcloths, I came across this little beauty on Ravelry to use up the remnants of cotton yarn from previous projects.  The Tribble can be used as a scrubbie for your dishes or a wash cloth for your face and has just the right scrubbing attributes for both - either way it fits into your hand just fine. Paired with a bar of soap and a little effort in the presentation, another present sorted.  Thank you, Abigail, for the free pattern and easy-to-follow instructions.           The Tribble…Read more …

Season’s Greetings

Coming to the end of my first year 'back in the loop', so to speak, my Christmas projects are nearly complete and ready for wrapping.  It's a great feeling, having produced gifts that are appropriate, useful, fun!  And they've kept my hands busy during the past few months, reducing my nibble intake - chocolate and cotton don't mix... These cloths have proved a diversion, a way to relax while still doing something, and a great excuse for searching the net for ideas, patterns and expertise.  I've learned a good few things on the way:…Read more …

A Nose between Two Thorns

Ahh, deadheading roses, cutting back Japanese anemones, typing up heavy-headed hydrangeas, all in the dappled sun of a late October afternoon. That’s my type of gardening.  For my DH, gardening is decimating hedges, hacking off overhanging branches, then, knee-deep in the wreckage, shredding every last frond and branch, and covering freshly-weeded flowerbeds with the resulting fallout. This is hardcore to my genteel dabbling, Wickes’ builders grippa  gloves to my floral Cath Kidstons. DH’s gardening usually turns into a two-man job, and sometimes I’m in the mood. Swapping my CK’s for some Wickes’ specials,…Read more …

Les Vendanges

Each year we watch our grapes grow from hard little green pellets to plump translucent beads of juicy flesh, but...just before we get round to picking them, boof, they've gone.  Whether eaten by birds, destroyed by extreme weather or pinched by the neighbours, we've never experienced a good 'vendanges'.  One year we did pick a couple of trays of grapes, juiced them and enjoyed a couple of bottles of 'jus de la vigne', but after a couple of barren years, we didn't have high expectations. However, a late-September visit to France, combined with…Read more …