Thursday, 27 December 2012

Granny Reclaims Her Needles

I'm writing about a finished object which is not my own but my mother's. She is 92 years old, and very independent. She has always knitted and sewn. But her eyesight is deteriorating, and she cannot see to read now, so last year she decided she really couldn't see well enough to knit any more. She gave me all her needles, and her stash of wool, and that was what got me back into knitting and designing.

But I guess all my chat about knitting, got her wanting to take it up again. So In November her birthday present from me was this lovely wool (I think it is Noro, but we can't find the label) and a super enlarged copy of the potato chip scarf pattern by Barbara Aguiar.  Click Here to Find It. She is a really experienced knitter, but we thought something without a complicated pattern or decreasing or increasing would mean she could make it mostly by touch.

So here she is in her lovely scarf, and she is reclaiming some of her needles to take home with her. Any ideas of what she could do for her next project would be very welcome. Any pattern has to have not too much reading, or sewing up, but as you can see she is quite hip and likes to be fashionable.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things

I decided to photograph my favourite tree decorations. But just for a change I have not included any of the homemade things on my tree, most of which I've already written about elsewhere on my blog. These are just the old favourites, which I enjoy unwrapping from the tissue paper each year.

The Bark Bird

The Bark Bird was given to me by a very close friend, I think possibly about 20 years ago. He is getting more fragile every year, but is still very special. 

The Terracotta Angel

I think the Terracotta Angel was bought in a shop in Covent Garden in London. It is a bit hard to remember. There are other bigger angels and fairies on my tree, but this tiny ornament is my favourite.

The Glass Bird

The Glass Bird is very simple, but looks great when the tree lights are on.

The Snow Goose

There seems to be a bit of a bird theme, which I had not intended. The Snow Goose is made of plastic, but looks like frosted glass ...

The Button Leg Fairy

This fairy has seen better days. To be frank she is looking a bit rough, and I think my have been out dancing all night on her button legs. I still love her.

The Gingerbread Men

I bought these for my children when they were very little, in a cookery shop. Along with gingerbread men cutters with which we had a lot of fun.

I would love to hear about (or see) your favourite tree decorations ...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Mischief of Mice


by Rose Fyleman

I think mice are rather nice,
Their tails are long,
Their ears are small,
They haven't any chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white,
They run around the house at night.
And nibble things they shouldn't touch,
And no one seems to like them much.
But I think mice are rather nice.

I learned this poem when I was a child at school. I don't think children are made to learn and recite poems very much these days, but I think it is a really good exercise. Once you have learned a poem you hopefully will have it for life. I would love to know if you can still recite  a poem that you learned at school? The only other one that I can remember is Gather Ye Rosebuds. I had to learn and recite it to the prefects, as a punishment. I had hidden in the loos instead of going to assembly with my friend Hilary, as she was unset because her hamster had died. But that is another story ...

I don't talk about my job much. No day is the same, it is never boring, and often very rewarding. This will sound a bit batty, but I think children are like seedlings, and it is important for them to have the best start possible. Obviously home is the most important, but so is school. You don't know what life will throw at you, but a good start may see you through.

Anyway today I had such a fantastic day, with a trip with the school choir to an old people's day centre, back to school for Christmas lunch, and then the most hilarious pantomine performed by the staff for the children. (I think I can say that, as I was not in the cast, but sitting with the children.) Sometimes I can't believe that they pay me as well.

My class is not full, and I decided a while ago to make a mouse for all of the seventeen children, as a Christmas gift. The pattern is from Yellow, Pink and Sparkly. I started with some Fair Isle ones, but after a while I decided to branch out ...

Stripey Mice 

Flowery Mice

and a few plain mice (which are my favourite).

Did you know one of the group names for mice is a mischief?

So now for a bit of mouse wrapping ....

Friday, 14 December 2012

Rudolphs With Your Noses So Bright

I have had some Christmas visitors: The Rudolphs.  

(Or as my son said "Aren't they just your donkeys in fancy dress?") He is right in a way, as Rudolph is basically an adaptation of my Derek Donkey pattern.

The Rudolphs went down quite well at last weekend's fair, so only two remain. Some people mistook them for dogs, with very big ears, so I may try to refine the horns a bit if I try again.

 But Derek has met and welcomed the new visitors, and he seems to approve.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Elves and the Shoemaker

There is something that I really like about little shoes, and I think it is because of the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker. It is the idea of a lovely new piece of leather (in my case felt) being left out at night, and in the morning there being a brand new pair of shoes. Although in this version I am the Shoemaker, and the shoes are elf-sized. 

These didn't do very well at any of my fairs, so will probably end up on my own Christmas tree. But the good thing is that means I also get the chocolates inside!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Few More Little Christmas Trees

I've been knitting away at my Little Christmas Trees, and waiting for a day when the light is good enough for a few photos. I work til mid-afternoon most days, so often by the time I get home the light is fading. Even today, although there was a lovely blue sky, the light was disappearing every minute.

I've been playing around with the embroidery decoration on the trees. I've also knitted a few with just three sections, which seems to work equally well as knitting four.

 This very pale green one with daisies is my favourite.

Can anyone recommend a gold or silver wool for knitting? I'm thinking of making a few with a bit of sparkle. My local shop doesn't do anything suitable, so something that is available online would be great. 

 Is anyone else feeling a bit Christmassed out? One more fair to go next weekend, but Father Christmas is going to be at this one!