Monday, 28 November 2011


Yesterday afternoon - just as Formula 1's last race of the season broadcast was beginning Sarah and James turned up to see Grandma. I haven't seen James for months and Sarah had come home for the weekend as it was Helen's (Mum's) birthday. We sat chatting, Sarah with her carton of White Grape and Peach juice (cos she doesn't drink tea or coffee) and James with the biscuit box and a cuppa. You have to know that James loves biscuits and he absent mindedly worked his way through the biscuit box...
So, this morning, I had to make something for me to munch on for the rest of the day and a few more, too, I think. I found a recipe for Rock Cakes/Buns which I realised was the same as the one I use for my fruit cakes. It's a rub-in mix which I seem to be more successful with these days and takes c. 15 minutes to cook. I love hot cakes and can't wait to begin them -as you can see from the photo.
Just what you need on the first frosty morning of the year.


Saturday, 19 November 2011


Just over a week ago I had a surprise packet in the post. It was a gift from my Chesham friend who had made me this Christmas stocking because I'd admired the one she had recently made at her patchwork class - we usually do a Show and Tell when we meet. She has cataracts at the moment so I don't know how she managed this! However she's having the first one done this morning (Sat.) at Stoke Mandeville as when she went on her appointed day at Wycombe the machine had broken down - after she'd been 'dropped' and anaesthetised...
It's all Christmas material and the strips vary between 1/4", 1/2" and 1". The total length is about 8". The back is one colour material, plain green with Christmas stars and the 'cuff' is gold holly leaves. It's padded and lined. I had trouble with these photos, too dark, really, without a flash and the colours were wiped out if I used it. Ho hum...This is the latest blanket I've just finished for charity - what a struggle to use black wool in artificial light! Still, it's come up OK in the end. Made in the usual way of 4 strips crocheted together. I made one strip of three-wide squares and put it one one side. Then just made another strip and so on - I was interested to see that I have unknowingly put the same colours next to each other (apart from the black separating each piece) - turquoise, blue, pink, red, two dark greeny speckles which look quite grey, and others which are diagonal to each other. These were random choices yet somehow the same colours came at the same distance from the start.....

Friday, 11 November 2011


Last evening I watched a programme about bomber crews during WW2 and remembered a poem I had copied from a BBC2 programme in January 1986 called The Watchtower.I was going to copy it out then found this website with a photo of the poem, 'Old Airfield' - It's at East Kirby airfield in Lincolnshire, an ex-Lancaster base, whose call sign was 'Silksheen'. Perhaps it's because it holds the idea of memories lingering in a place where so much was crammed into a few short years that it appeals to me. There are more websites, too, if you are interested. And it's Armistice Day.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Hmmmm... Do you think there's something wrong with this ad I saw today in a Thame charity shop window? I was buying a pack of Christmas cards anyway so had a joke with the lady behind the counter. She solemnly agreed with me that there was a problem...

Monday, 7 November 2011


This is the first one-piece crochet blanket I've ever made. Usually I've made granny squares and then sewn them together afterwards and that system is a good way of using up very small amounts of wool but - I found this pattern on a crochet site called Attic24, liked it (and it's simple) so have been doing some every day. It's taken a month altogether.It measures approx 49 x 33" and I'm pleased with it. Just as well I have a fair amount of wool at present as I'm also making the knitted blankets. The photo taken widthways has come out with less distortion than standing at the bottom of the work and taking it that way. This is a closeup of several rows - and what a carry-on to take photos on this dull gloomy day (so a dull gloomy house, too). The stitch is treble crochet (in UK terms).
Here's part of the stitching in even 'closer-up'

and here's the border, just to finish it off, though I didn't do the final row with the border pattern as printed, just did double crochet all the way round the edge after the rows of trebles.
Because the house is a dark house even on a bright day I tried with/without flash, by the window and finally used another camera which has a paper manual and so much easier to access information.

Sarah was home at the weekend as it was Bonfire Night and popped round with a present for me - 3 packs of Fat Quarters. I'd mentioned that I wanted dark materials to include in the postage stamp type quilt I've been making on and off for months, depending what material came to hand. Now the weather is grey the light isn't good enough for me to machine so I knit (crochet) instead. There are various patterns in these bundles so will take some time to use it all - years, probably! I'm very economical... Thanks, Sarah.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Do you get these charity bags dropping through your letter box every so often? They seem to come in waves; one arrives then three more turn up. They come from all kinds of charities asking you to put your bric a brac, jewellery, clothes, CD and DVDs, handbags, toys, shoes, books and knitwear outside on your doorstep to be collected on a specified date.
I don't put out anything. I'd rather give to a village jumble since I gave up putting things on eBay several years ago. But now that Gillian works for a charity shop in Thame I'm collecting a bag of 'downsizing' which she can take into her shop.
The charities which have donated these plastic bags are The Salvation Army (2), British Heart Foundation (2), NSPCC, Shaw Trust and Little Treasures Children's Trust. I've never heard of the latter charity. I don't know how I got the Bagline bag...
However, they are useful bags, though not very robust; they're OK to take my knitted blankets to the lady in the village whose son is connected with Burmese charities, for storing clothes away and for other lightweight work. The bags aren't wasted, just used differently.
What do you use your charity bags for???