Sunday, 12 January 2014

A two and a half year blogging holiday! Part 2

Here is my next instalment of the two and a half year update ;)


Do you remember the crocheted hexagon blanket that I started a few posts ago? It has been coming along very well although sadly, even after two and a half years, it is not quite finished. It is one of those projects for me that will keep ticking along in the background and I will add to it when I don't have any other significant projects on the go. Here is my progress so far:

I bought some fabulous alpaca yarn in some amazing colours on a week away in Devon. Here was the outcome, a crocheted patchwork scarf:

I also love to bake and my all time favourite cake is chocolate and Guinness! It is from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe that is widely available on the internet if you do a little Google search. Here was my first attempt:

For Christmas 2012 our family had a homemade Christmas so here were some of the things that I made:

This included a couple of crocheted baby tunics, some mug cosies, a sewn iPhone cover and several glass Christmas decorations. I enjoyed every minute of making these! I baked for the rest of the gifts.

Mince pies:

After Eight cupcakes (adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe):

Chocolate orange cupcakes (also adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe):

To tie in with the homemade theme for Christmas that year we had a competition for the best nativity representation in play dough. This was my team's efforts and I am happy to say that we won even though someone on our team thought they'd add a pink boa constrictor to the set... :D


At the end of summer 2011 we visited a vintage funfair and penny arcade with some friends. It was a great day out and totally appealed to my love for everything vintage and retro:

Apologies for the lighting on the next picture. This was taken at The Alpaca Farm in Devon which is home to a number of alpacas and llamas. We enjoyed our trip here so much that we went twice during our stay! I would love to keep some alpacas one day. A (very) long term dream of mine :)

Early 2013 saw me flying out to Spain on a three day trip with my sister-in-law. We had a really relaxing time and enjoyed temperatures in the double figures whilst it was still freezing at home. A much needed break that I would definitely repeat in the future. We stayed in a small village just outside of Madrid. It was beautiful:

I am really enjoying going back over my old photographs and sharing some with you. There's still more to come! So until next time...


A two and a half year blogging holiday! Part 1

My blogging mojo has returned after a lovely comment on a very old post of mine. Initially I felt awful for taking such a long break from blogging but then I decided to just get back into it :) I am going to try and summarise what has been going on in the last two and a half years. I realise this is too long for one post so I am going to split it into several posts.


My love for crochet has grown exponentially and in some sort of timeline order here's what's been going on (the first instalment anyway!):

Some crocheted slippers for a friend's 30th. This was a free pattern on Ravelry and was incredibly easy. I haven't made any more as they are for small feet but I do hope to adapt the pattern in time.

This is the start of a new crocheted blanket for another friend who was expecting. This photo was taken in a cafe in the Peak District, UK.

I really enjoyed working with this yarn. It is Sirdar Calico and is a lovely cotton mix. Here is the completed blanket:

It was soon realised that my yarn stash was getting out of control and it had no order at all so one afternoon I emptied all of the yarn I could find onto the spare bed and set about organising it. Here is the before picture:

This was all bagged, labelled and boxed up. Very satisfying!


Wow! Going back over two and a half years worth of photographs makes selecting key moments very challenging. My first instalment captures autumn/winter 2011 through to summer 2012.

We spent Christmas 2011 in Canada on Vancouver Island. It was a magical experience as I had never been to Canada before. I was sold with the flight in!

I have far too many pictures to share here but suffice to say it was truly beautiful:

I would love to return one day... when we've saved all of our pennies!! On returning home and a few months along we spent a weekend on Exmoor in the UK and visited the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Trust. This is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. We loved it and will most definitely return again. Here is the view we had whilst we had lunch:

And here is one of the stunning owls, a barn owl:

Summer 2012 saw us holidaying in the Peak District. We stayed on a working farm and visited many attractions, mostly wildlife based. Here are a few pictures from our visits.

A beautiful deer:

Bottoms up! From a trio of otters:

An otter who was so full of character:

A young great grey owl:

So until next time where I'll give you more crafty and general updates :)


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Crocheting like crazy!

I learnt to crochet many moons ago as a child but that was all I did, just learnt how to do it. Then in my mid-twenties I fancied it again when the surge of kitch and retro inspired blankets hit the shops and made stores like Cath Kidston. I was smitten. So, I embarked on my own blanket... that never quite made it into a blanket... or anything... I still have the squares in a bag... somewhere... Ok, so I'm not painting a great picture of my crochet skills and motivation this far.

However, something inside me has now clicked and I am loving the crochet! I had to re-teach myself and it took me a few attempts to produce something worthy of display but I got there and I love it! My first project was earlier this year and this was the crocheted hot water bottle cover:


I was then fired up for more crochet and a good friend of mine was expecting a baby so out came the hook and off I went. Result? A crocheted baby blanket :) I loved doing this. I used Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply in green and lemon with a 2.5mm hook (this was the only one I owned at the time):

baby blanket3 baby blanket4

By then I was an official crochet addict so I was looking for projects! My next project was a hot water bottle cover ready for the colder nights which are now upon us. This wrked up really quickly and in two short evenings of crochet, it was complete. I used Sirdar Calico DK in muslin, linen and pink with a 4mm hook:


To my delight another friend announced they were expecting, this meant more crochet! :) I am a nightmare for wanting to try new things. I had done a stripy blanket and now I wanted to try something else. I came across a pattern online (I am afraid I have forgotten where) for a simple sqauare with holes in the diagonals. I mocked up a plan in my head of how big I would have these squares and how I would do the edging. I was away :) The only stumbling point was which colours to choose?? I had a choice of four: white, cream (but very yellowy), green and fawn. Oh the deliberations! My partner was subjected to many conversations of 'what do you think about these two?' 'or these two?' 'or these two?'... Here were the colour choices:


Interestingly, I would choose the cream and fawn from this picture, but the cream really is very yellowy in real life and that whole warm and cold colour mix just looked wrong to me. In the end I went for a simple fawn and white and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I went for a simple double crochet/treble crochet/double crochet edging which I think looks simple and smart. I used Sirdar Calico DK in linen and cotton white with a 4mm hook:

baby blanket2 baby blanket1

Using the same Sirdar Calico yarn (but in pink) with the same 4mm hook I crocheted a premature baby jacket for a friend's granddaughter who was born too soon. This will be winging it's way to her very soon :) I managed this in two short evenings too. I do enjoy these quick projects :)

prem jacket

Could I stop there? I think not. I was still on a roll with the crochet. My next completed project was a (dare I say it in October?!) Christmas stocking. Hopefully to redeem myself from my premature excitement of all things festive, you will appreciate the cute factor in this reveal :) I used some cheap (no longer labelled) acrylic yarn that has been in my stash for over five years with a 5mm hook (oh yes, I have lots of hooks now!!):

christmas stocking

So, what's on the hook now? A couple of things... firstly, I am crocheting a blanket for us to keep. I found an awesome pattern over at Lucy's from Attic24 and I was smitten at first glance! Hexagons! Oh how to satisfy a craft loving maths teacher, crocheted symmetry and tessalation, full of mathsy goodness :) My other half is a mathsy-sciencey type so he loves it too. Excellent! I took myself off to the LYS which is in Wells and bought some really lovely yarn and haven't looked back since :) I am using Wendy Norse Chunky in porpoise, eider, fjord, bergen and aurora:

hexagon blanket

So you may have noticed this is only a four colour hexagon, and you'd be right. The five colours I have chosen lend themselves to creating 120 different colour combinations of hexagons! Bring it on. Yes, ok, in true maths teacher fashion, I already have a spreadsheet for the colour combinations... ok, yes I do also have a diagram in publisher of what that looks like visually too... If anyone wants copies of these let me know in a comment and I'll email these on to you.

So the question is, after all of that am I still really loving crochet? Oh yes! In fact I love it so much I am wondering what else I can crochet already :) If you've always mainly been a knitter and not ever really given crochet a go, my recommendation is try it, I did and I haven't picked up my knitting needles in months! I know I will again but for now I definitely have the crochet bug :)

Until next time,


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Boomerang Blogger!

It has been a while, a long while... A lot of crafting has happened since I last posted here (beyond knitting too!) but also, a concert in Brussels, a huge road trip to the highlands of Scotland, a new job and a new business venture! I hope this feebly hopes to explain my lack of blogging.

So crafting and my blog. I have thought a lot about blogging, why I blog, what I like about reading other people's blogs and if I should change what I write, how I write or whether I should write at all. We're taking nearly five months of deliberations here so for your sake I shall summarise my warblings:

Why do I blog?
To share my crafty progress and any other 'interesting' things I've been up to. I also blog to keep in the blogging community as I think it is only fair that if I am reading and enjoying something someone else has taken the time to plan, write and publish then I should put something back into that community for others.

What do I like about reading other people's blogs?
Pictures! I love seeing pictures, especially of other people's crafty projects. I have been completely inspired by some other bloggers who have single handedly got me into other crafts beyond knitting like crochet and sewing.

Should I change what I write?
I am not sure, possibly yes. If I like the craftiness of other people's blogs then I am sure that is what other people are most interested in too. Am I right? My blog title suggests you're going to find a whole load of knitting here and errr... hmm...

Should I change how I write?
Maybe - perhaps a little and often is better than one huuuuuge post in a blue moon. Posting a little and often may also seem less of an onerous task and might enable me to blog more reqularly.

Should I write at all?
This is the ultimate blogger's conundrum... I think at the moment, yes. When I blog I do enjoy it. I love receiving comments. It is like receiving something exciting in the post. I know this is linked to blogging more regularly too.

I'd be really grateful to hear your thoughts on this conundrum and what keeps you blogging.

Hmm, lots of thoughts! As I am hoping to blog more regularly I am going to chunk up my news in different posts so that you don't have to read loads and loads in one go.

So, today's post is about my new... sewing machine!! (When we say new, it's new to the blog!) I love it! I wish I was better at it, had more experience with it, knew what projects to play with and all of that but I still love it. My own shiny new sewing machine :)

sewing machine1

The only project I have tackled so far is revamping my late Nan's sewing box which had certainly seen better days... a long time ago. We need to remember that, apart from you, it is only for my eyes so no-one else will need to be exposed to my rather interesting fabric choice. In truth, I was so excited to have a little project, err... 'little' only in size! It took me a whole day of pinning, tacking, ironing, sewing, ironing, pinning, tacking, ironing, sewing... you get the idea :D


sewing box before1 sewing box before2


sewing box1 sewing box inside1 sewing box inside fabric1 fabric2

Did I mention that the lining doesn't quite fit? Guess I omitted to share that. I like to think of it as a labour of love, a project only its creator could love ;) I am just pleased to have completed something.

How cute is this little heirloom? It is a minutely crocheted mexican hat that houses a thimble and the brim serves as a handy little needle store :)

sewing mexican hat

More inspiration has followed since this project and that was largely down to a recent trip to Millie Moon, a new sewing shop that has opened in Wells (a beautiful cathedral market town in Somerset). I walked in to the newly opened store and I felt like a child in a sweet shop! Everything was beautiful and waiting to be picked up, looked at, touched. The shop is crisp and ordered and full of fabricy goodness. I can't wait to go back with a project in mind and purchase my supplies :) They have another shop in Frome, Somerset and they have a sewing school there! I have been oggling over the list of classes, I am looking forward to taking the plunge. Meet this little dude who came home with me from my visit:

measuring tape owl1 measuring tape owl2

Oh yes, something seemingly just cute and of no purpose actually has a purpose for every crafter! :)

Keeping on the sewing theme, I must tell you about my blogging buddy from Australia. Check out her Frazzy Dazzles blog and have a read - it is full of sew-y delights. It is extra specially exciting at the moment though as she has recently had a crafty article published in a magazine! There is a give away on her blog at the moment to celebrate her crafty/writing success :) I am sure she won't mind me reposting one of her pictures to get you in the mood for a visit to her blog :)

frazzy dazzles

So, until next time...


Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Paradisiacal?? Yes, it's a new word in my blogging vocabulary, it means: of, relating to, or resembling paradise! It pretty much describes how things have been around here since I last posted. That is, if we take work out of the mix but then we work to live, right?? And living is what it's about, so let me show you what's been going on in the world of a wittering knitter...

beach huts lamposts patio

I was whisked off for a lovely weekend away with my man for a significant birthday that I celebrated in March. We went to Lyme Regis on the south coast of England and stayed inland in a small rural village. It was absolutely delightful. We visited Montacute House in Somerset which is just stunning. It featured in the film of Sense and Sensibility (the one with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet).

montacute1 montacute2 montacute5 montacute4 montacute3

These were the flowers in the room when I arrived (that Mr. Lovely had arranged for me!):

birthday flowers

When we returned I was thrown a family birthday party and they invited some interesting guests...

birthday table


Mum and my step-Dad keep chickens and these are their latest additions:


So cute!!! They're a real motley crew of all sorts, this one at the front has been called Spike (from the Gremlins with the bleached blonde tufty hair!).

For my birthday my partner's brother and his wife bought me a bird box and a bird table and they are already in full use. In fact we already have tenants in the bird box and they've even started a family already! Hopefully I'll have pics of the little babies soon :)

bird bath bird box2 bird box nest

The weather has been wonderful of late and the wisteria in full bloom was just beautiful:


We've already had a number of barbecues and we look forward to many more as the summer approaches :)

I hope to be back soon with more pictures, including my main birthday present from Mr. Lovely and a very useful crafty investment from my Mum!

Until next time,


Monday, 28 February 2011

Stitch Crazy

Here is a little bundle all packed up and ready to go. Do you remember the little blue baby jacket from my last post? Here is the parcel before I wrapped it up in brown paper and sent it to the little fella who has been promised this gift for some months now.


I liked the look of it so much I was almost tempted to unwrap it myself (even though I knew what was inside it!) :)

I have been stitching like crazy recently...

Here is the finished crocheted hot water bottle cover (with help from Lucy's granny stripe tutorial):


It didn't turn out quite how I had planned but I like it all the same. I 'treble clustered' around the edge to secure the two pieces together and then followed Cassie's tutorial on scalloped edging! I'm loving the crochet and can't wait to start a new project I have in mind... more on that one another time :)

This hot water bottle cover was going to be the first yarny thing that I've ever made for myself... but I just can't help myself... it will be going to a very good friend of mine when she comes to visit this weekend. Life has thrown her some challenges of late and I think she needs a little pink and green hot water bottle right now :)

What else have I been up to? I have finished the first premature baby jacket! :) Do you remember the one that looked a little strange on the needles? Well here it is:


I have contacted PreemiesUK and also local hospitals to find out where I should send donations. It turns out the demand is huge for this sort of charity knitting. If any of you are interested but don't know where to start, please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help. I just think it is such a great cause. I end up helping others by doing something I enjoy - everyone's a winner, surely?! :)

Signing off for now as it's a 'school night' and I've just spent two and a half hours online sorting out my car insurance renewal! :O Just as well I have blogging and yarn to keep me sane (oh yes, and a lovely fella who was actually the one who suggested I did some blogging tonight to cheer myself up!) :)

Until next time,


Monday, 21 February 2011

Crafty Goodness

Before I show you what I have been crafting I have a few home pics for you. Firstly, my favourite little birds that visit the bird feeders are long-tailed tits. Seriously, how cute are these little fellas? :)

Long tailed tit

They hang around in gangs, we often have eight of them at once. It is known that they will all help to look after the young of the gang so not only are they cute but they are caring little fellas too. Bless!

Valentine's day saw the addition of a new friend to The Wittering Knitter's abode. My lovely man bought her for me :) Just check out her wellies:

Deidre's wellies
Wouldn't you love a pair?? I think they're fab :)

These wellies belong to Deidre the duck who was a little shy to begin with during the photo shoot:

Deidre in the tulips and daffs
Deidre peering over the tulips and daffs

She still wanted to be in the photos but she didn't like the close-ups. Here are some flowers in a teapot (with Deidre). I ran out of vases and never use this teapot so I thought it would look great when these daffs come out:

A teapot of flowers and Deidre

I did promise you some crafty goodness so here we go... do you remember my post about the blue knitted baby jacket...? Well, it is finished! The buttons have been bought and sewn on and it is all ready to be sent off in the post tomorrow to a young man who is eagerly waiting its arrival (it has been promised for a while now!). I wasn't sure how to photograph the hood so I've included a few variations :)

Baby jacket and Deidre Baby jacket and Deidre

I fell in love with these buttons, I really wanted wooden ones and I love Snoopy. I am sure the little guy who is to receive this jacket won't be too bothered but I think his parents will approve:

Snoopy button

During my search for buttons I came across some that I made a year or so ago:

Handmade children's buttons in a Japanese fabric Handmade children's buttons in a Japanese fabric
Handmade green buttons Handmade pink gingham buttons
The colours haven't come out very well as the light here hasn't been very good lately but the gingham ones are fuchsia pink!

As I have been on a bit of a knitting frenzy trying to finish baby jackets and jumpers I decided to try my hand at a bit of crochet. I haven't done very much crochet at all so I wanted to start on a small scale. I decided on a hot water bottle cover and I've been amazed at how quickly the fabric grows compared to knitting. I have to credit Lucy from Attic24 for her tutorial on granny stripes. Without that I would have made a jumbled mess I can assure you! Here is one half of the hot water bottle cover:

Crocheted hot water bottle cover

Again, the colours haven't come out terribly well but I think you probably get the jist :)

I hope to have some more crafty delights for you soon, especially as it is half term for the schools around here so I am looking forward to a few days off relaxing in front of the fire.

Have a great week.

Until next time,