Category Archives: hand knitting

Knitting, crochet and courses


Whoopee! I am now a graduate of the Centre for Nutrition Studies whole food plant-based nutrition programme. I even have a badge for my blog, which is now in the sidebar near the top. It doesn’t fit in that well at the moment. I think it may be time for a renovation around here. I’ve been using the same WordPress template for, like, forever!

So that’s one FO! A finished course, for which I will get a certificate. I did the course partly for myself, partly so I could help others by educating them about healthy eating by not just giving them my opinion but actual facts backed up by actual science. And now I CAN!

The other FO is a crochet one which I whipped up in a little under an hour today.

It’s a cute lamb lovey, made from a kit that we sell at the store. It’s more expensive there than online, but I get a staff discount. And I’ve been eyeing these kits for ages. They come in many colours (always with three different colours/textures in one ball) with a different animal head or ball to go on top.

Rather than go with the crowd and knit a hat, I crocheted a granny square and added the lamb’s head to the centre. I was inspired by someone on Ravelry who has been posting photos of her projects to one of my favourite groups, the Colourful CALs/KALs group.

If you can’t find these at your local yarn store, they have them at They are called DMC Top This knit hat kits.

What else? Ah yes…


Knittin’…..started these Baby Janes a couple of days ago. Haven’t picked them up since. But if I actually get them finished they will match the bubble gum blanket’s border and will make a cute set. It’s a free pattern from Red Heart – I found it at work in the yarn section.

And the caterpillar is coming along. I did  add some hexagons today, and as you’ll see from the photo I positioned the bits for the head and feet. Tonight I sewed them on because I was too impatient to wait until I had added all the hexes.

We had a very pleasant Sunday. A slow pace, a walk along the waterfront, a cup of tea at Chai Baba. And a couple of interesting new recipes, which the boys were very dubious about. Beetburgers (a beautiful colour) in buns with grilled pineapple (another idea from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook) with salad, followed by lime custard tart. I used an unbaked crust idea from the Fat Free Vegan blog (because I couldn’t find the right ingredients for the original crust) which was made with rolled oats, dates and fresh orange juice. The filling was silken tofu with lime juice and maple syrup layered with fresh fruit. It was rather good!

Despite all the doom and gloom in the news (best not to watch) I hope you manage to stay joyful and positive and spread good news instead of bad. ❤





End of year round up


It is a little early for this but I was interested to see what my project stats were for 2016. I’m not obsessive about entering the amount of yarn used for each project so I can’t tell you how many yards I have crocheted and knitted but I can tell you what I made.

This is my Ravelry project page, the link for which will only work if you’re a Ravelry member. (It’s free to join – all you need is a user name and password.)

Some project pages include more than one item, for example the wildlife rescue nests and the itty bitty bags. So I have totted up, as accurately as I can, the totals and here they are.

Wraps/shawls 2

Cowls 6

Slippers 5 pairs (including the ones that are half finished and I expect to finish tomorrow)

Scarves 2

Mitts 4 pairs

Baskets/bags 15

Blankets 3

Frisbees 1

Nests 3

Home items (eg rugs, dishcloths) 10

Yarnbombing 1

Bath 2

Cosies 4

Hats 7

Amigurumi/toys 7

Baby 2

Coats 1

That makes a total of 75 which is ten more completed projects than last year. My goal for January is to complete the baby blanket WIP, and then perhaps I can experiment with a sweater or cardigan. I still have the Stylecraft Special DK Coast Pack patiently waiting in my stash, which would make a great sweater.

What are your crafting plans for 2017?


FO: Girly Santa hat


I am excited about my new Finished Object…


I don’t know how much wear this hat will get over Christmas but for some reason I just had to make it.

This lovely boucle Astrakan stuff works perfectly as a brim but crocheting it was out of the question. You just can’t see the stitches. It’s too much of a gamble. So I pulled out the old straight knitting needles, cast on ten stitches, and knitted a strip that was just about long enough to go around my head. I seamed the short edges together and then I managed to single crochet around a long edge with this hot pink Red Heart with Love. A lot of double crochets and gradual decreasing, plus a messy pompom, finished off the hat in two days.

I don’t have a pattern for it, I’m afraid. It was a design-on-the-go, see-if-it-works type of thing. (The pompom is held on with a bow on the inside of the hat, so it’s removable when the hat needs washing.)

I am feeling quite virtuous today, having gone to the pool two days in a row. Yesterday I swam 20 lengths, today 30. I would like to maintain a frequent swimming schedule but I am making no promises because I know myself!

I just realised it’s almost bedtime and I haven’t practised my piano tunes today. Oops! However I have spent a few hours on my Nutrition course and have learned some very depressing facts about the state of the US food industry. Ugh!

Have a good day and talk to you again soon.

WIP: Very Hungry Caterpillar



Well, what have I been doing all week? I have to confess to getting a little bored with the granny squares. I only have a few left to do, and the weather is actually cold enough now to need a coat, so I should get it finished.

However, I have been lured away by this project. It’s a cute hat and cocoon set for a newborn. These things seem to be very popular for photoshoots at the moment. The downside to this particular pattern is that there is no gauge listed and no finished measurements. I did look up some size info at the Craft Yarn Council of America site but mostly I am eyeballing it.

The pattern called for 6 stitches at the beginning of the hat, and I was getting a very small conical shape that I didn’t like, so I changed it to 8 instead. Much prefer a rounder crown. Kept to the same number of stitches for the straight part and hoping it fits.

The pattern uses one colour for the cocoon and has shaping to make it look more caterpillar-ish. However I am using all four shades of green, as the caterpillar in Eric Carle’s book has different shades in it, and I’m working straight as it seemed to me that the skinny bits would be much too skinny. I dunno, I will only know for sure once the actual baby is put into it. I think I’m about halfway through the cocoon and it shouldn’t take long to finish.


Unless…! Maybe I will be lured away yet again by this:


The supervisor at work isn’t a confident crocheter but decided to give this pattern a go. Red Heart have brought out their Unforgettable Waves, which is a thick and thin version of the Unforgettable. Well, she tried it, but after a short distance along the brim she gave up in disgust and then found out that this yarn does not unravel well. She gave me the yarn and free pattern leaflet today. I think her intention was for me to keep the yarn for myself but I will crochet it up (if it plays nicely) and give her the finished hat.

Fabricland also now has their own line of yarn (Dynasty) which includes a Toque Kit (aka woolly hat). Inside the kit, you get a big ball of chunky yarn, a pattern and a fake fur pompom. Those things are very “in” right now, don’t you know! There is a big sale coming up and I have offered to buy a kit at half price  that weekend, knit it up, and put it on display before giving it to someone as a gift. That will be my first knitting in about a year!

Well, the kitchen awaits. Pizza to be made, family to be fed, etc, then I can get going with my crochet hooks.

Have a wonderful crafty weekend.




Sock monkeys!


The theme for today grew out of darning slippers.


These slippers. Despite having added sturdy crocheted patches to the bottom of the feet some time ago, or maybe because of it, I had a large hole to deal with. Right along the edge of one of the patches! It was a rough and ready fix, but inspired me to show you my other resident sock monkeys.


The Walmart sock monkeys, which I have only had for one winter and which aren’t expected to last for another. The cushioning has flattened out and the lining is wearing out, but I don’t want to say goodbye to them yet. They’re warm and have a proper sole which is handy in the kitchen in case of wet spots on the floor.

And then there’s this…

My knitted sock monkey friend from way back. He has been a bit neglected lately as he has been stuffed in a corner of my craft room.

I saw some awesome photos on Ravelry this week. One crafty crocheter makes baby gifts made up of a blanket plus a sock monkey in the same colours. I loved it so much that I had to ask her whether she had a pattern, and she said that whilst her first monkey was made from this Patons Crochet Striped Funky Monkey pattern, she had adapted it over time to work better for her. I have queued it and will definitely have a go.

Sock Monkeys, Sunshine and Spring – what a wonderful combination for a random Thursday.






Ahem…yarn acquisition


No, I haven’t broken my yarn ban. This yarn was being destashed by a co-worker and while I am not one to use novelty yarns as a rule, I would like to see if there is something creative I can do with ruffle yarn that doesn’t involve making a scarf!



The top one, rather endearingly called Biggy-Bump Chenille, is a popcorn-type yarn which I could use for arm knitting, stranded with a few other yarns.

The Law of Attraction!


I seem to be doing a good job of bringing Yarn into my life right now. As soon as I declared myself to be on a yarn diet, I was given these…




Red Heart With Love, 100% acrylic, four 5oz skeins in Fruit Punch. The colours are pretty, and I tried to capture them with a closeup. There’s red, orange, turquoise, green and plum in there. Not sure how long the colour changes are and I will have to pick my project carefully to allow for the variegation.

Then, as I was leaving work today, one of my co-workers said she had been meaning to bring in a bag of yarn for me to look at. So tomorrow, if she remembers, I might get to add a little more to the stash. But it’s all kosher because I’m not buying more yarn, right?