The Sun Shone…

in Stratford upon Avon today, so we trotted over for a walk along the river. I managed to grab my latest pair of socks before heading out the door. It was cold, but bright so made the perfect photo opportunity. It was very nice to be in the sunshine, it was just what we both needed. Later we strolled around the town and enjoyed a coffee together.

These socks are a Cookie A confection, Angee which has been a pleasure to knit and has turned into a really beautiful pair of socks – but then I wouldn’t expect anything less of a Cookie A pattern.

They are made with Wollmeise 100% in Miss May. I love Wollmeise I am completely addicted to it and Miss May did not disappoint.

I think Eric has got his paws well and truly under the table, look how comfy this pussy cat looks.

We have a sneaking suspicion that these pussy cats were pre owned by a knitter, because as soon as my knitting comes out, they plonk themselves onto my lap for a cuddle and quickly doze off, even though they occasionally get a gentle whack across the head with a long 7.5 mm knitting needle!!

Coffee with mother this morning.

Whilst I was chatting to her friends about knitting and quilting,

she joins in with an “Oh Yes,”

“I know what I want for Christmas” I’m thinking, It is January isn’t it!!!

“Oh” sez I.

“I want one of those Christmas tree skirts,” and then proceeded to wax lyrical about the one I had made.

I reminded her that I hadn’t finished it, I am still sewing beads on..

so she said with glee..

“Well, it will give you a whole year to make mine”

Game, set and match to my mother me thinks…

Eric and Florence.

Our new to us pussy cats seem to be settling in beautifully. Florence particularly loves a warm lap on which to lay whilst enjoying a good ear rub and gently batting yarn and needles with her paws. Eric prefers to lay on a warm lap, enjoy the ear rubs whilst then gently rolling onto his back so as you can give his tummy a tickle, at which point he nearly falls off your lap!

I haven’t had lap cats in my life for a very long time and I’m really enjoying them. They have such wonderfully soft fur, especially Eric’s who should be called Cashmere as his fur is just dreamy.

Meet Florence, her colourings remind me so much of Willow,

Isn’t she adorable.

And then we have Fat Cat, I mean Eric, (the boys named them!) whose only goal in life is to be loved. (and fed) This is him cuddled up on my lap.

I love his markings, I think he is very handsome.

I’m entitling this photo, “There may be trouble ahead”

I’m working on the premise that they will soon realise that they can’t get to the budgies and will become bored.

Although Eric does seem keen to explore all angles.

An amusement.

I really enjoy my knitting group, I can’t believe that what started with just me on my own in August, a couple of print outs and a knitting magazine or two has grown into such a wonderfully chatty group of fifteen to eighteen women who love to come together for a natter. I think if everyone came together the numbers would grow into the twenties, three more came across us today and wished to join in and have promised to come next week. It seems to grow every single month.

I especially enjoy their comedy, I love women’s humour, its fun, its not harsh or brash or difficult to understand as to why you would find that amusing, its good and I love it. (I also like my sons humour, but they are gentle and young and I hope they remain so)

So, when I mentioned that I was not going to be buying wool or yarn of any description this year with the proviso’s in place of Wonder Wool and Knit Nation, they heckled,.. they did, it was quite shocking.. I would have thought they might have understood, but no they heckled and then they questioned me… Questioned I was! As to what I had in my stash.. I don’t even explain that to my husband, if he can’t work it out, I’m not going to tell him.

So I stuttered and I mumbled about having stash in every room that is available, apart from toilets, bathrooms and the boys bedrooms. And then the game was on,, they laughed in such cheery tones that I laughed like a drain too. And I had to explain (although I never gave them a final figure) as to just how many skeins of sock yarn I might have and how much area this took, and then these women who I dearly love, welcomed my honest approach and started to talk about their own stashes… I won’t reveal anything because you never know who is reading, but compared to some, well, I’m just a beginner.


Do you remember the photograph of the adorable pussy cat I posted a few days ago.

She left us for Rainbow Bridge on Saturday. I knew she was a poorly pussy cat (heart failure and congestion around her lungs) and knew her visit to the vets may well be a one way trip. Thank fully our vet is a practical man and doesn’t shilly-shally around what needs to be done. Which made everything much easier for my hubby and son no.2, this is why I was a little distracted on Saturday morning at quilting, If I’d spoken about it I’m sure I would have leaked quite alot, so it was best that I didn’t. Willow had had a very good 15/16 years for a feral pussy cat and she will be joining her brother Bramble under the Laurel hedge, I will miss her and her adorable pure white paws padding across the breakfast table in search of treats.

And this is where the guilt comes in. (I think guilt is part and parcel of being a mother, there is always something to beat yourself up about)

Last week we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversay.

gorgeous red roses from hubby

and stunning tulips from Noelle, thank you Noelle they were such a wonderful surprise.

On our wedding anniversary we normally have a trip out, this year I wanted to see what the RSPCA had to offer in the way of pussy cats. We have always had more than one pussy cat in our lives and I thought that Willow had looked a little sad and could do with some company. Sadly Willow suddenly became not just old, she became ill and I feel quite guilty about it all, but by Saturday we had spoken to the children and had planned a second visit. So mixed in with my guilt I think that sometimes you just have to say to yourself, that perhaps this is how it was supposed to be.

Anyway to get to the point of my witterings, there were two adorable pussy cats, brother and sister in exactly the same colour markings as Willow and Bramble. And they were being released for adoption on Sunday. Part of the rules of adoption is that the RSPCA have to see the whole family, so come Sunday morning I turf the 18 and 20 year old out of beds at the crack of dawn, (mind you they didn’t require much turfing, they were quite excited), point them towards the shower and we head off three quarters of an hour early just so that we were first in the queue.

We had a successful homecheck today and we pick them up tomorrow.

And to be absolutely honest I am rather glad that we found them when we did. Our home has been very empty without a pussy cat in it for the last few days. In all of our life together this has been the longest few days without a pussy cat in it and I just don’t like it.

I’m looking for knitting names for the pussy cats, hubby came up with Stash and Sable, which made me laugh like a drain..

I’d love to hear your ideas……

Don’t Lose It!

I first knit this scarf in December 2007 for son no.1. He loved it so much that he always wore it and eventually stretched it and to be honest I was just about to reblock it, he’d stretched it that far. And then, he lost it. He was very sad, and I was sad too, not only for the loss of his scarf but because I’d lost my very first pair of gloves that I’d knit in the same week. (I’m still knitting a replacement pair)

I thought I would be able to let him use one of the many scarfs that seem to be littered around the home of mandycharlie, and that was okay for a very short while. But then, he started to plead with me on a daily basis, often twice a day, sometimes even thrice, asking me to knit him exactly the same scarf. And how can you resist those big brown eyes.

So I cast on and knit just as fast as my fingers would allow me, every day spent knitting, looking out at the snow, wondering how cold my boy was whilst he was working just spurred me on. Last night I finished and this morning I have woven in the ends. This pattern is Sequoia knit with three balls of Soft Tweed Rowan in Bramble on needles. I added 3 stitches to both sides, (total of 6 stitches) in a garter stitch pattern just to make it slightly wider. The first scarf used four balls, but my son asked for a shorter scarf.

When I presented him with his shorter scarf this morning……. he asked for a longer scarf…

I’m afraid he got what he was given, I know he’ll stretch this one out. It hasn’t been blocked as he needs the use of it today.

And here we have the photograph of him wearing it, My how he’s changed in the last two years. I think it would be a wonderful idea to have portrait shots of him wearing a new Sequoia scarf every two years, it will be really interesting to see how he changes.

Fly by blogging.

This is just a quick catch up, thank you to all who left messages/emails. Its so nice to get support when you are feeling so dreadful. I’m slowly getting better, who knew it would take so long!!!

But I’m not wittering on about that this morning – yes I am blogging at a ridiculous hour, the snoring between hubby and the golden retriever was deafening, I gave up and got up.

Since we last spoke, there has been an eighteenth birthday of our youngest son.

He wouldn’t pose nicely for the camera, this is the best shot, there were many outtakes. I don’t know where he gets his stubborn personality from!!!!

It was quite amusing to find out that he is a happy drunk! His elder brother took him to the pub, a visit to the local hostelry is almost a tradition on your 18th in the UK. And after a few sherbets escorted him home, (he was under strict instructions to look after his younger brother!) whereupon I find this extremely tall and quite broad happy drunk hugging me and telling me how much he loves me. We gave him chocolate cake and put him to bed!

And there has been knitting as you might imagine although there seems to be more on the needles than off the needles at the moment.

I finished a pair of socks for the boy above, in a size 13 mens UK. Which is huge.. He loved them and they have been most useful to him in all this snow. These are Opal Hundertwasser in colourway Der Blaue Mond – 1432 knit on 2.5 needles with a 72 stitch cast on. (not only are his feet long they are extremely wide) I wasn’t sure about this colourway and all the way through knitting them I just didn’t like them, but yet when I finished them, cast off, sewed the ends in and held the pair together, I fell in love. It was most odd. You see even if the sock yarn fumes don’t put you under their influence, the power of the knitted socks will..

There was a hat.

I made this hat to keep the eldest of my elder brothers warm. As soon as A was able to talk and draw he was drawing dinosaurs and this was long before paleontology became fashionable through films such a Jurassic Park. He has been on many dinosaur digs all over the world and when he’s not teaching a class room full of young people biology or playing dungeons and dragons (or making interesting items for his games) his mind quickly wanders over to his first love – fossils. All holidays were spent with A wandering off fossil hunting, and even on a beach that you thought there was no possibility that there were any fossils on, it was just all sand, A would return with a bucket full and would then spend a happy few hours analyzing them. (fossil books always went on holiday too)

So when I saw this pattern for a Trilobite hat, I knew I had to knit it for him and off course there was only one colour that would completely work for this pattern – slate grey. The hat looks even better when its worn as it opens the pattern up.

So, may I present “A trilobite caught in slate”

A’s reaction was a treat. He just thought it was a hat, and said a polite thank you. Where upon I’m bouncing up and down in excitement saying “Look at the pattern, look at the pattern” and he looked and said, “Yeah, its nice, thank you” I’m still bouncing, “Look at the pattern – Its a trilobite hat!!” getting squeakier and higher pitched by the second..

And then he really looked at it, I could see his brain computing.. And then there was that Flash of recognition, and it was like watching fireworks coming out of his head, he was completely knocked sideways with it. His reaction was just perfect, he loved it. And it fitted him perfectly. I knit this on 4.5 mm needles as I wanted a generously sized hat using Rowan Pure Wool Aran.

There has been a little bit of knitting for me. I really like Fletcher by Jane Ellison and I’ve had the pattern and the yarn for over a year. Actually I didn’t have quite enough yarn so I asked on Ravelry if there was anyone who would be willing to sell me a skein or two of Noro Iro in the colourway and dyelot I had and not one, but two very kind people came forward. Isn’t Ravelry fabulous, so now I have more than enough to complete my project.

This is Noro Iro in colourway 58. Do you notice the delightful pure white paws that are obviously trying to drag my newly knitted back onto the floor for the pleasure of her own bed? This is Willow, she jumped up whilst I was photographing the back and marched across the fabric just to check if it was up to her exacting standards.

And this is her perched on her bed, which was a doggie coat for Holly our whippet until Willow decided that she wanted it. In the end I had to bow to her good taste and cut off the toggles and let her have it. Willows about 15 now, doesn’t time fly!