Unsung Heroes

I felt compelled at the start of a new year to praise some Ohioan unsung heroes.

As you know daughter no 1 lives in rural Ohio with my grandson and I visit as often as I can – next trip already planned!

Since returning to Ohio after a spell in Rhode Island daughter no 1 decided to volunteer 3 mornings a week at the Knox County Animal Shelter while my grandson was in school. Since January 2013 she has got almost 200 dogs freed from animal shelters to go to rescues!

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What I have discovered is there are many unrecognised heroes in the community who work relentlessly to get dogs who otherwise have no chance of adoption on the road to their “furever” home. There is a vast network of people, some affiliated to rescues, who give tirelessly of their time to get these dogs on the road to freedom, the transporting of these dogs to rescues alone is a logistical nightmare!

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How does this fit in with my knitting you may be wondering?

Well daughter no 1 has started working with a local shelter and funds are needed to help subsidise the pull fees and give them some comfort while they are in the shelters (many shelters still euthanize dogs because they have no room) and her friend has set up a Facebook page – Little Apple Dumplings https://www.facebook.com/LittleAppleDumplings?ref=br_tf to help raise money to support their work.

She contacted me to make some items that could be used as she knows only too well that I like to knit!

So I am knitting as fast as I can little items to donate –



I needed some yarn for the purpose so I asked the guys at my Guilty Knitters group if they had anything in their stash they would give me to make items – Jane messaged me immediately and I picked up – what an amazing donation!


So some of my WIPs are on hold while I knit cowls, mittens,and other quick items

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So here’s to all those unsung heroes (I can’t name them all but this is for them) making a difference to those abandoned and abused four legged friends, keeping them safe and finding them their “furever” homes!!

Time Flies

It’s months since my last blog but I’m up for it now. I spent 6 weeks with Daughter No1 and Grandson in Ohio in August and September returning the first week of October! And I crammed a lot into those weeks apart from playing with Thomas trains, Duplo blocks and reading stories.

I drove to Hudson OH so my husband could get a Pea Coat – evidently it’s some sort of special coat worn by the Forces and we had to go to a store 2 hours drive away – don’t worry he said its not far it’s in Ohio – Ohio is bigger than the UK and that’s all I’m saying.

We went to a Livestock market in Danville and procured 5 more chickens for Daughter No 1’s flock – 8 eggs a day now.

We trained the rooster (Neville) to eat cracked corn out of our hands. Why Neville you say? Grandson named them all after characters in Peppa Pig! Some of the  new ones have more original names – Brownie, Road Runner and Mrs Rock.



Knitting what about the knitting – yes there was some-

Another Big Wool Hoodie for Mindy – Daughter No 1’s friend



The Wide Neck Sweater – Blackberry Ridge 4 ply


More about this sweater later

Two Sweaters for the Grandson – Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed Aran


and Jojoland Splatter Dash


–  not quite finished before I returned but since sent to him. Both patterns sourced on Ravelry.

And part of Iron Maiden Shawl – Ella Rae Lace – on the flight


Some Phydeaux yarn was waiting for me

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plus a yarn bowl from Blue Room Pottery

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and some stitch markers from Lavender Hill Knits


But NO I did not visit a single yarn shop in those six weeks I couldn’t find one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End of Chaos

My knitting notions, things like stitch markers and holders and cable needles, scissors ,tape measure all needed to be kept together so I bought a little zip bag which I thought would suit.



It was sturdy and wouldn’t get dirty and the bits fitted in. Great you say what could be the problem – well my stash of useful things has grown as I search for ever more useful notions. They just got packed in until it was like this!!


And if I wanted to find something say for example a cable needle everything had to be emptied out as it was always at the bottom!! Not energy efficient I hear you say. This is what I kept in the bag –



Stitch markers, cable needles, crochet hooks, sewing and tapestry needles, large pins for sewing up, highlighter tape for charts, scissors, safety pins, pencil, scissors, rubber/eraser, tape measure and a whole lot more!!

This is CHAOS – there must be a better way, someone must have solved the problem, I searched and searched on the internet for ideas for a solution and really couldn’t find anything then suddenly the link I chose became a glimmer of hope and I investigated further…….



This is what I found!!!

And this is what it does…..


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Everything in one place and easily accessible!!

I have returned from the edge of Chaos!!

Thank you Lena Brown (  http://lenabrown.com/wp/ ) You are a godsend.


Carrie’s Roller Coaster Ride!!

I have a penchant for Kim Hargreaves designs and when I was looking for a little cotton jacket I came across Carrie in the Misty book and thought this is the one – then the roller coaster ride began!!

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The jacket was made in Rowan’s Fine Milk Cotton which was of course by that time discontinued!!

Aha I thought, I will look for a substitute yarn but no I could not find a yarn and there wasn’t one on the yarn comparison sites so I used my trusty Google search and found some at English Yarns – www.englishyarns.co.uk/‎. I ordered 11 balls  in this lovely Dark Teal shade and put it in my stash.

During the Xmas break I decided to start it . It was straightforward with enough pattern to keep it interesting, the stitch definition was good and as I worked on it in my knitting groups the comments were all positive.

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The back and fronts progressed well and I used short row shaping for the shoulders and a three needle bind off – 2 less seams to sew up (I hate the sewing up part)


Of course I got involved in several other projects and this was on the back burner but I did get the sleeves finished.IMG_0604

Until now the ride had been fairly smooth but with the end in sight only the collar and drawstring to go the ride became rough and very hairy!!! Here are the ups and downs –

Down – I cast on the collar and horrors of horrors I realised I was using the last ball!!! And no way was there going to be enough!!!

Up –  I contacted English Yarns and they had one ball in their inventory they would cll me back once they had got it from the stockroom

Down – they rang back and couldn’t find it!

Up – I contacted a lady on Ravelry who agreed to send it (from Billings Montana) I paid for it

Double Dip Down – it didn’t arrive and suddenly I was reimbursed the payment – the friend who was posting it for her lost it!!

Ok, now I was going to have to get serious – so hanging on tight I :

contacted several people on Ravelry who had it in their stash – Up

Down – they didn’t reply

I went on the Rowan site  and rang about 20 stockists – Up

Down – no-one had any

I emailed Webs in the USA – Up

Down –  they had none – try Ravelry they said

By now I was getting worried and beginning to feel sick, but I couldn’t stop I had to source a ball otherwise it would forever be in a project bag!

Up – Janice at John Lewis Bluewater contacted all the stores in the hope that a branch would have some

What to do so at the Sunday Knitting Group we talked about it and Susan said what about some forums and later that day she sent me the links for 3 forums – In search of and Rowan Love both on Ravelry and Phoenix Knitting Forum.

Up – I posted on all three

Down – waiting for a response was terrible – people looked at them but no replies

Up – I had a reply and YES she was willing to let me have a ball and it was the same dye lot!!

Up – buttons were bought


UP – the yarn arrived!


Double UP – the collar and drawstring were finished!!!!

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Only the sewing up to go – and the roller coaster ride was over!!! I am really pleased with it and the positive comments make the roller coaster ride worthwhile.

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One Crossed Off The Bucket List

We all talk about the things we want to do before we die, but I don’t really have a bucket list. However one thing we have wanted to do is eat at Simpsons in the Strand http://www.simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk/. It was opened in 1828 as a chess club and coffee house but is now known for its lunches and teas.



What do I hear you ask has this got to do with knitting? Well not a lot really – on the day we went my knitting had to be cast aside.

What knitting I hear you ask?

Well I have finished the seed jacket for Daughter no 1 that was in the Vogue 2004/5 Winter Book. It has already crossed the Atlantic and is waiting for cooler weather! Knitted in Rowan Big Wool.



And I have also finished Daughter No 2’s friend’s Kitten Mittens in Vail by Classic Elite.



Finished the Primula Shawl and achieved my new year’s resolution to work with beads – Dream in Colour Wisp – Morning Glory.

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And I have knitted the front and back of Gilt by Sarah Hatton in Frost and am on the second front. Quite prolific really so I was due a day off. I’ve added pockets to the jacket (I do like a pocket – somewhere to put a mobile phone)


And I succumbed to four skeins of yarn from Posh Yarn which are in my stash waiting for the right project!

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So what about Simpsons? Why were we there?


Well, Daughter no 2 graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA(Hons) in Animation and we needed to celebrate!

So Simpson’s it was for something special.

Pimms while we waited for our table


Then fishcakes


The Roast Beef

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And finally


That’s one off the bucket list!! Only 99 to go if I had a list!!

Transatlantic Sweater

As soon as I arrived in March to visit Daughter no 1 and Grandson she handed me a Webs catalogue ( Webs is one of the largest online yarn stores in the United States and I have bought quite a lot of yarn from them ). Look she said they have this great sweater “I really like it” which is her way of saying “will you make it for me?”


We looked at the yarn while I was there but didn’t promise to make it, I thought I would do it as a surprise. The colour she chose was Shore which is a dusty pink. So after I got back and was at my monthly knitting club Woolly Women at John Lewis – Bluewater I purchased the yarn using the discount they give us.

At this point I ought to tell you that knitting with yarn that is Aran or thicker is not my favourite pastime but that’s what she wanted.

The pattern is by Marie Wallin and it looked straightforward with a clear chart. Great I thought this will be a doddle!

Rib complete I started on the pattern and Oh Boy was it tricky!! The pattern row was done on the wrong side! And did I struggle!!



If I had thought about it I would have adapted it but no I knitted the front and the back working the chart from left to right!!


Then came the sleeves, a completely different pattern but this one was worked on both rows! I have had some conversations about the sleeve pattern on Ravelry with someone struggling to get it right.

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At last it was finished and sewn up – Daughter No 2’s friend modelled it for the pictures.

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I was really pleased with it when it was finished and the stitch definition looked great!

I packed it up in a box, with of course books, one about a pirate and underpants, another about a robot who loses his bottom and a soft toy of the witch from Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson for Grandson.


Here it is ready for the Post Office.

It winged it’s way across the Atlantic to Ohio.

And this is what came on my phone


“I love it Mum”

Truly a Transatlantic Sweater!!

A Grand Day Out

We all thought it was time for a day out and as two of the members had birthdays coming up we decided to go up to London for the day, have champagne and visit a couple of yarn shops – well we are all knitters and that’s how we know each other. So we met up at Harvey Nichols and had coffee. We had intended to visit Patricia Roberts at http://www.patriciaroberts.co.uk/yarn2.php which was just round the corner. But would you believe it but on the day we chose to go the shop was shut. Nothing stops us, so we decided to catch the tube to the Angel and visit Loop instead (I’ve always wanted to go there). http://www.loopknitting.com/.

Here we are considering our potential purchases.


So much to choose from but we did buy some things and here is Nat making her purchases.


And yes, I did buy two skeins of Alpaca to make Daughter No 2’s friend a pair of kitten mittens (https://lyndahage.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=326&action=edit) Purrrrfect



By then we were hungry so off to lunch at Banana Tree an old haunt of Sue’s!

The problem was what to do next, so I did a bit of silver surfing and came up with another yarn shop a short bus ride away in Stoke Newington, a part of London we didn’t know,but we were game and headed off for the bus. We found this neat little shop on the High Street called Knit with Attitude http://www.knitwithattitude.com/shop/ and more purchases were made!

Last of all we settled for Champagne before we set of home here we are with all our purchases.

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We dodged the showers and a little merry we went our separate ways.


All in all a GRAND DAY OUT!

Knitting Mishap at the Airport

I can’t believe how fast that month went and it was quite eventful!!

Firstly there was the trip getting there Heathrow to Boston and then on to Columbus Ohio. The plane was delayed out of Heathrow but that was no problem because for the first time I had knitting in my carry on! So I cast on the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark with my Ella Rae lace yarn.

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Knitting on the plane was great and soon I had done about 8″ worth.

We landed late in Boston because there had been a bad snow storm and it looked like I would miss my connection. Daughter No1 was frantic “Get to the gate the Columbus flight has been delayed”. So I hared across the walkway from Terminal E to Terminal A went through security again and ran barefoot to the gate (not a pleasant sight – an older woman running barefoot)!! I got to the gate only to discover no one knew when the flight would go out and it quickly became apparent that no one knew if we would get out of Boston – all the previous fights had been cancelled and the last flight after the one I was trying to get had been cancelled too. This was the view out of the window….


Oh well I thought I’d just do some more knitting while I waited – I looked in my bag and to my SHOCK and  HORROR the little knitting bag was gone lost somewhere between the two terminals!!!

I did make it to Columbus 3 hours late on the only flight that left Boston that day to Columbus. A very relieved  Daughter No 1 and Grandson met me as I disembarked.

The knitting never turned up despite numerous phone calls to the airline and airport lost and found but at least I was there!

Knitting bag had to be replaced so I ordered one via Etsy from Julie at Lavender Hill Knits and this is what came look at the beautiful packaging.





What did I do while I was there – well the baking of course

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A lot of playing and of course some knitting!

Pole by Joji Locatelli which I completed today and is being blocked on the garden table in Dream In Colour Classy in Deep Sea Flower

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And a pair of socks for Daughter No1 in Phydeaux Chaussette using the Thelonious Sock pattern

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Oh and of course I did buy a few skeins of yarn LOL


It was relatively quiet at the Sunday Knitting Club – Guilty Knitters, we had settled down with our coffee and projects just chit chatting about mundane things when Sue arrived. Sue always has very interesting knitting projects – the Rose fairisle sweater, the Cocoon scarf for a work colleague. She settled down and lifted out a small knitting bag and from it brought a new project! Just look at these she said and we all looked up even daughter No2 from her Harry Potter cross stitch.


“Wow” “Amazing” I love them” were the comments! They were a pair of mittens – but with Kitties on them and a fishbone and a paw print! – http://susancrowe.co.uk/2013/03/03/kitten-mittens/

We are all cat lovers in the group and as you know we recently went from three to six in our household!!

“Make me some Mum” urged daughter No 2 “I want some” So armed with the pattern I ordered 2 balls of Artesano 100% Alpaca and started knitting –IMG_0443

They were a lovely knit and soon I had one mitten finished!

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Then the race was on I had to get the second one finished before Friday! It would be too late and probably too warm to wear them if I finished them when I came back from visiting daughter No1  and Grandson!

So I battled on and despite having to undo a few rows where I had gone wrong in my haste they were finished!!

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They fit perfectly and now daughter’s friend wants some!

Finished in time I’ve packed my bag and am ready – this is what I’m going to –

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Oh well I’ll take my UGG boots and earmuffs

The Kitty Mittens are PURRRRRRRRRFECT it’s a shame they are staying here!!

Knitting on the Back Burner?

Six sleeps to go I told him when we face timed yesterday. Grandson knows I’m coming, the suitcase still needs to be packed but there is plenty of time to load the books, T shirts, toys and chocolate I’ve acquired to take across the pond to rural Ohio!


I’m even planning to knit on the plane – have bought wooden pointed needles specially and will be knitting the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A Clark in Ella Rae Lace yarn.

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Ever hopeful I am taking the pattern for Pole in case the Dream in Colour ordered from Webs arrives although it is on back order! So also taking some Phydeaux Chaussette sock yarn and a pattern from Cookie A just in case.


A lot of projects you say what about the back burner?

Well I am expecting to be rather busy with building creations out of Duplo, reading stories like Little Rabbit Foo Foo, Hairy Maclary and Slinky Malinky and COOKING.

In the suitcase I will also have Cadbury’s Mini Eggs and…..


for Easter Nests and



for Fairy cakes both for the children in his class.

So I might only be able to knit if he naps (unlikely) or when he goes to bed. The things we do for love – I can’t wait -and if the knitting has to be on the back burner for a few weeks so what!

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