Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Making a blanket with #crafttheparcel

Towards the end of last year I got an email asking if I'd like to be part of #crafttheparcel. The idea was that a group of nine crafters would each make a 12" blanket square, send them to each other using the new InPost system, and it would be assembled to make a lovely blanket. That sounded like fun, so I thought I would give it a go. :)

I wanted to knit a square, and to make it nice and chunky and cosy I used 8mm needles and double-knitting yarn held double. This let me play with the colours a bit as well - I used one ball of medium blue throughout, and for the second yarn used stripes of other colours of blue, working roughly from light to dark.

I knit the square diagonally because that made it easiest to get the right size. It's a really simple pattern - cast on 3, increase in the first stitch in each row until one of the straight sides is the size you want, then decrease in the first two stitches in each row until you have three stitches left, then cast off.

Which left me with something a bit like this! And lots of ends to weave in. Once I'd done those, I added a border and made a crochet star to go on top.

Then I just sewed on the star, and added some sequins for a bit of extra sparkle!

All finished! And it's now been sent off to join its blanket square friends. This was a fun project and I hope the completed blanket will make lots of money for charity.

I received compensation towards materials, postage costs and my time.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Bank Holiday shopping at Morrisons

I don't normally shop at Morrisons, I'll admit, as it isn't the most convenient for where I live. But a new shiny one has opened not too far away so the BritMums promotion was a good opportunity to give it a try.

I started off with a great customer service experience - I didn't realise I'd need a pound coin for my trolley, and of course I didn't have one, so I went to the desk and asked for some help. Someone was immediately called over to come and unlock a trolley for me.

The shop is new so everything was well laid out with shiny displays. In particular I liked the way the fruit and veg was laid out like market stalls. The prices were comparable to Tesco, where I normally shop, and I would be tempted to shop at Morrisons more often if it wasn't for the distance involved (20 minute drive vs. 5 minute drive). As well as the normal shopping, I wanted to get things for two bank holiday meals - our dinner on Saturday and a roast on Monday (Sunday was my husband's birthday so we went out to eat and I didn't have to cook - but I did buy a lovely chocolate cake for tea!).

The Saturday meal was a favourite in our house, sausages and cheesy potatoes. For that I bought:
Sausages, £4
Baking potatoes, £1.14
Grated cheese, £3.50

Cheesy potatoes are easy to make but very yummy. All you need to do is bake the potatoes, then cut them in half and scoop out the middles. Mash the potato with some butter, powdered garlic and lots of grated cheese.

Then spoon it back into the potato shells and pop them under the grill for a few minutes until the tops go all nice and brown.

Yum! I used less than half the cheese on this meal so I'd call that £1.72 per head.

The roast dinner I forgot to take any pictures for but I bought:
Chicken, £4
Maris piper potatoes, £2.25
Yorkshire puddings, £1
Frozen peas, £1
Carrots, 18p

We only used half the potatoes and yorkshire puddings and some of the peas so I would say that came out at £1.50 per head. Not bad and another delicious meal! The chicken in particular was lovely.

Disclaimer: I received £80 of Morrisons vouchers in exchange for writing this post

Monday, 2 September 2013


So in July Emily turned three:

And then a few days ago, Laura turned five:

And on Wednesday, I shall be dropping Laura at school and then taking Emily into the adjoining pre-school, and then walking home by myself. (!)

Everyone keeps asking me what I'm going to do with myself, during those nine hours (three mornings) a week that both girls are off my hands. On Wednesday I'm afraid the boring answer is that I'm going to go to the supermarket. But anyone with small children knows that doing that all by myself is, in fact, a bit of a treat! And hopefully once all the shopping is put away I will have time for a cup of tea before walking a mile back up the road to retrieve daughter number two.

We've had a lovely summer - I'm definitely a summer person and for once the weather has obliged, with lots of sunny days to spend at the park or in the garden. Being at home every day with two little ones full-time is pretty tiring though and I'm ready for the holidays to be over. But this may just be because I've forgotten what it's like getting everyone out the door and down the road in time for school!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Diffusion Tee

It's very boring when people make excuses for not blogging, isn't it? So I won't.

I have something more interesting to talk about, anyway - I have another pattern in Knit Now magazine this month! And it's on the cover, which is super-exciting.

(c) Dan Walmsley for Knit Now 2013

It's called Diffusion, and it's a t-shirt worked with two strands of 4-ply yarn held together. The colours are changed one by one to give the ombre effect.

(c) Dan Walmsley for Knit Now 2013

Knit Now is out now and features lots of other lovely patterns and articles. There is also a supplement with many more patterns, and free stitch holders. Bargain!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013

Laura's Penguin Hat

Over a month. Oh dear. I had two magazine patterns to write, which I couldn't post about, and which took up a lot of time. Then I was ill. Then it was the Easter holidays. Still is, really, because it's an inset day and Laura won't be back at school until tomorrow.

I did manage to make at least one thing though! Laura wanted a penguin hat (long story) so we looked at patterns on Ravelry. Then I mostly improvised one for her. We went out to a local open farm the next day and Laura wore it all day.

Now Emily wants a toy penguin. I expect we can manage that.

Linking up with Handmade Monday, go and look at all the lovely blogs! So many beautiful things people have been making.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Red Nose Day

You might have heard that my sister was in a group that climbed Snowdon at the weekend for Comic Relief! Jen wrote all about it here. Their team has raised over £5600 so far and if you would like to sponsor them you can do so here.

I have also been doing my little bit (though not nearly as impressive as climbing a mountain!). Juliet Bernard asked on Twitter if anyone would be able to knit some Red Nose corsages. She sent me some yarn and I've done nearly 3 so far.

I know they don't look like much yet! But they will be lovely corsages that are being sold at Spitalfields Market in London on the 15th of March. I'm hoping to get a couple more done in time to send back to Juliet so I'd better keep knitting!