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 –

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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Knitting what about the knitting – yes there was some-

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

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The Wide Neck Sweater – Blackberry Ridge 4 ply

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More about this sweater later

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

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and Jojoland Splatter Dash

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–  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

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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

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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.

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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!!

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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 –

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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…….

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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.

 

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.

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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.

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

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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)

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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?

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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

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Then fishcakes

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The Roast Beef

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And finally

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

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….

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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.

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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

Jealousy – The Green-Eyed God

As Shakespeare once said “O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” but I coveted Jenny’s Christmas present  from her daughters! I also coveted the one Judie carried too!

 

A Namaste tote for carrying projects. Oooo how I loved it size, pockets and colour. I must must must have one too!!.

 

So I surfed the web looking for one and on the website perused the styles but was always drawn back to THE MONROE.

Caribbean Blue

The next problem was the colour I loved the Caribbean Blue but no-one had it in stock, I had to choose between Red or Eggplant, in the end I settled on Eggplant even though Jenny had that colour.

 

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I am so pleased with it I can get more than one knitting project in it and all my other bits and pieces! I even use it for work as it holds A4 files perfectly

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I’m going to use it on my upcoming trip to visit daughter No1 and Grandson so I can knit all the way to America!!

Tribal Lunch

Well at last it’s finished and sewn up although there is another problem there are no pockets! Walking round Bluewater before our Knitting group I realised how difficult it is with no pockets. Where does on put one’s mobile phone? In the waistband of the leggings? Down the top tucked in the bra?

 

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Had loads of time to spare so popped into Starbucks for a coffee and thought I would do a bit of knitting ( the rib of a sleeve) while I whiled away the hours til lunch and all was fine until a young couple came and sat behind me. Hushed tones became a little strident and the next thing I knew was – a domestic brewing, driven out to wander aimlessly for a bit.

Time passed and lunchtime came – 10 of us all knitters sat down in Pizza Express to celebrate Christmas. Lots of pressies exchanged hands and await the heralding of Xmas Day to be opened. Can’t wait for the delights to unfold.

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Hell and Damnation !!!!!

I was going great guns on Tribe and the second sleeve was well on its way when!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning while everyone else was asleep I, with a cup of tea worked on to finish the sleeve before anyone else got up.

I was almost at the decreases and was thinking if I really got cracking I could wear it tomorrow.  When I ran out of wool!!!!!

What I hear you say – YOU RAN OUT OF WOOL!!!! 

How could this happen ARGHH !!!!!!

I had bought exactly what the pattern had said: 5 balls Shale, 2 balls Mountain, 2 balls Bilberry, 2 balls Quarry Tile, 2 balls Mink, 2 Scree and 1 Alpine.

At this point I need Alpine for 3 rows and I’ll never use the colour again!!!!

And I have 1 Mink, 1 Mountain , 1 Scree and 2 Shale left over ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

To Frog or not to Frog?

Eugh!!! I was getting on so well with Calisto, the pattern was just perfect and I was sure the yarn was right and it would look great.

Easy knit and adapted the pattern as I thought I wouldn’t have enough yarn, got into a bit of a tangle when I tried to undo two rows at a time whilst on needle. But all seemed alright.

BUT as I got nearer to the end I began to think that it was going to be HUGE when it came off the needles and my euphoria began to subside. Would it be so big that I couldn’t wear it? There was only one way to to find out so it was off the needles and round my neck – Speaking of frogs we seem to be getting quite a few brought indoors especially in the evenings by another member of the household – he who is black and white and a bit special. No it’s not a murder on the TV but a serial killer on the loose in the kitchen!

“Me? No I would never do anything like that”  but the evidence is for all to see – hopping round the tiles screaming.

But back to the main question to frog or not well let’s see

It looks too big even without the fringe so I guess it will be frogged and re knitted on a smaller needle and less stitches. 4=1inch so maybe 180 stitches instead of 220. What do you think?

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