Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


Life just got better!

Our dog has been found! - just a day away from being shipped off to a new home! she was looked after by such kind people that refused to hand her over to the dog pound or give her up to the local rescue, keeping her warm and safe and well fed whilst the vile winter storms made me so concerned for her welfare. These kind folk tried to find her owners (us) ringing the same authorities and vet surgeries as we did - strangely none of these places put two and two together.........

Any hoo, as a last resort - one I had no faith in - I put her details on Facebook. (Thanks Jak for telling me to do so) At 3am in the morning while the winds howled around the house I posted  a brief description and some photos and by 7am friends in Australia, locally, near and far, here and in Africa had posted and re-posted and re-posted her picture and by 11am - I was taken by a kind neighbour to pick my errant dog.

She is now home. (sigh of relief)

I can now relax and share some knitting news. I have been a really lucky knit-wit recently receiving both chrimbly woolly and notion goodness as well as being gifted Himself's Grandma's knitting pins and some hand written notes. 
A delightful selection of vintage needles - plastic, acrylic,  aluminium, wooden, 
nickle plated brass and steel
Hand written knitting notes
A gorgeous knitting book from Youngest (he has already decided which one he wants knitting!) 
A most beautiful Nordic inspired book from Himself - 
I had to hold this book and stroke it for quite a while - be still my HaPpY BeaTinG HeaRT! 
A delightful (but dated) Kaffe Fassett book - such wonderful intricate but hopelessly outmoded patterns - not a chrimbly gift but one given by a friend who thought it would be interesting to look at
A circle-licious handful of bamboo circular knitting needles - a chrimbly pressies from fav-sis-in-law
A selection of woolly goodness from sons and sister in law
A vintage corsetry box (for a tea rose coloured lace-fronted corset in size 30 no less)
filled with more classic knitting needles and notions

And finally, see the labels? Well, they are part of a secret-knit-challenge. 

At our knit and natter chrimbly do we each wrapped some wool or yarn in an un-labeled festive parcel and in a lucky dip style we then chose another gift, unwrapped it, tried to guess who the yarn or wool was from then were challenged to knit or crochet something from our gift to do a show and tell in February.
I have already started! (and frogged) and re-started my piece and I am actually staggered I CAN ACTUALLY do the pattern I am attempting - pheweeee, happy me!  

The more eagle eyed of you will have also noticed I have happily wound my two balls of Jaeger Trinity into to delish yarn cakes.

PS: I found an image of an Excelsior Corset in tea rose with lace fronted panels - glad they are no longer an essential requirement for daily wear! (thanks ebay!)

A final montage - sorry for this self indulgent post - but after the last few days of worry it feels delightful to just waffle on about nothing in particular :)

A Pan-cat sitting in a basket while I take photos of knitting needles and books - Over the festive season, Himself has been heard to call her (very affectionately) 'Snowflake' and the other wee furry beastie - the Hairy Humbug :)

Goodnight dear bloggers - I can actually sleep tonight and not have to listen to the wind howl or the rain dash against the window and feel a nagging pain about the dog, she is sound asleep in her bed tonight here at home with us - Life just got better !



That blank sort of time when you can't sleep

That time in the dark hours when the house is asleep and you are not.................

Something about wild weather that makes you want to hunker down and craft, curled up in a chair with the fire crackling away. Only my mind is elsewhere.

It is that sort of 'catch-up-lull-time' time of year, that week squished between manic festive preparations and celebrations and new year.

For the first time in about four years, I have actually had some days off at chrimbly time with my boys and they (those days) seemed to just be gobbled up by cooking and wrapping, by urgent last minute present buying (Eldest seemed completely flummoxed by the need to buy something for the girlfriend), by visiting and being visited and by the loss of an elderly giddy dog who has.just.disappeared.

Oh how I hate this - when an animal just vanishes. She has wandered off before, years ago - taking herself for a walk then getting lost, but this time - she is old and this wandering off was quite unexpected. How does an elderly partially sighted and deaf dog escape from a sealed garden?

Last time she went AWOL, 10 years ago, I rang all the rescue places and spoke to people, real-live-people, and gave details and descriptions and received consolation and advice from professional animal rescue organisations. This time we have had to follow instructions from automated messages - had to log information on line, had to tweet and to open on-line 'lost animal accounts'. All the rescue 'services' have been farmed out to private companies that charge a fee and operate on-line website.....I am yet to speak to a real voice.
Our own personal search and rescue has been hampered by vile weather and the fact she is deaf ...... standing on a wet and wild moor yelling her name only makes it worse.



As the evening darkens we realise that it has been a family filled day - hope your day was as gently satisfying as ours was, surrounded by three generations, far too much food, lovely gifts and two silly cats.

Peace, hope,love and blessings be xxxxx


A witching number 17

For a number of years now we have relied on and loved the Llewellyn's Witches calender and this year has been no different. It is an American publication so the timings and moon phases are slightly out - but not enough to detract from the lovely artwork, the daily sayings and magic. Each day is represented by a colour which in turn has a meaning for example - white is for protection and blue is for psychic awareness.  It also has astrological and pagan symbols as well as harvesting and sowing advice.

Today's number is supplied (or rather implied) by my calender. Thanks to Himself for the suggestion - I think he was sick of me wandering around muttering dark things about NOT having the number SEVENTEEN and where AT THIS TIME OF NIGHT would I find one ?!
Thank you xx


16 - 16, still counting

16th December - its the 350th day of the year meaning only 15 days left of 2013.

It is a dark and stormy evening as I write this. We are still in recovery mode from yesterday - Purple Threads from Threads Through My Life very kindly sent me a photo or two of wreaths I'd missed - including the one on my own front door!
 I went for a simple and natural look this year. Not that it shows, but there is 'snow' spray and a smattering of glitter to hopefully twinkle at night when the lights go on.
Purple Threads also managed to snap a photo as the last gingerbread trees momentarily lingered on the plate - Youngest was most put out when he realised all the biscuits had been eaten and he had only had TWO! So I have promised we will make more for our Yule celebrations.

We did however get the decorations done, Youngest has been pestering me since yesterday to get the tree and the twinkly lights sorted. He was half expecting me to finish trimming the house after our crafty wreath making session but I was that tired that I put him off with a mug of tea and a mince pie - phew! But on Sunday, there was no escape.

With his help (he is tall enough to reach the top of the tree!) the decorating was done in a record time ( in fact he was so speedy that I was concerned that the end result would look a little disheveled - but no, he did do a very good job and I only needed to move one or two baubles whilst he was diving into the decorations box to find more trimming and twinkle for the tree!) Don't think there is a single INCH where we could fit anything else on......!

We are still doing out taste tests with mincepies - we have tried 14 yes FOURTEEN different varieties (all in the name of fairness!) I has been a hard task but some one has to do it erhem, as I wipe away a few crumbs.


14 & 15 and a brilliant day of Ta Das!

The 14th for me was filled with wonderful friends and family, it was our annual festive foliage decoration making day where an awful lot of greenery, food, laughter, chat and creating occurred . Want to see?

Well firstly - I have to share something Youngest and I made as a welcoming treat.

A Gingerbread Tree !

It didn't last long................. :)

Just before everyone landed, I nipped out into the garden and cut a small pile of ever-green material to use for my festive wreath making and very quickly - it was 'inhabited' by something small and furry! She popped in and out, hiding then springing up like a cat-in-a-box. What great fun - in fact she got so over excited that she ran up and down and climbed in and out of everyone's boxes and bags that she very suddenly fell asleep - she is still a baby :)
There was so much snipping and cutting, placing and arranging of festive wreaths and table decorations.
Oh - I'll stop waffling and show you!
 Our little back yard was filled with all our work.
Yes that feather adorned wreath is resting on a row of wellie-boots - made my Eldest's girlfriend.

What added to our lovely day was the fact it wasn't just adults around the table creating festive decorations, there was children playing, the teenagers crafting, friends popping in and staying for a brew, it wasn't just all festive foliage, there was knitting and crochet and twister and drawing - in fact, in our house there was so much going on that my head was spinning and it was GREAT!

Now, as Himself takes Eldest and Girlfriend home, Youngest is in 'recovery position' on the settee whilst watching 'The Hobbit' and I am waffling on about today feeling most satisfied :)

Thank you every one xxxxxx


Friday the 13th - lucky for some :) (me!)

Settle is full of quirky shops and tea rooms, cafes and restaurants, catering for a wide range of tastes, this little place is  no wider than the wooden surround of it's window and door. When the lights are on the thirteen looks wonderful - I am yet to give it a try - one day I will. :)

PS it is only 8 days till the shortest night - yuletime celebration and 11 days to chrimbly eve and 12 days to chrimbly day! (Not that I am counting erhem!)


Tonight we had our festive knit and natter. A wonderful evening to celebrate our year of knitting and crochet, nattering and friendship, nibbling and tea drinking. Admittedly there wasn't as much knitting and crochet as usual as we were more like to be found wielding a fork load of delish food or slurping a gorgeously heady alcoholic brew - Ooh I was good - I stuck to a good old mug of tea :)

We had a secret santa with a difference, we all brought a ball of wool or yarn, wrapped up and anonymous and placed into 'santa's' bag, then later, after an awful amount of feasting and laughter we dipped into the bag and chose a wrapped gift of yarny goodness. The next part was to unwrap and after a lot of oohing and aaahing and stroking of the yarn (no - not a euphemism but certainly a pleasure!) we tried to guess who'd wrapped up that yarn or wool. The final part was the challenge - we have until the end of February to create something from our knit and natter festive gift for a show and tell - Ooh how exciting! 

The next couple of days will be hectic and definitely more chrimbly-like - I promise my camera will be working over time and I will share some photos as I go along :)

Hello to Lisa N! From Needles and Wool


Rub a dub dub a 12 on a blue tub!

Thank you everyone who sent lovely purr-filled thoughts for Jak-the-cat, I have it on good authority that although he is still very ill, he is making progress. He is very loved and precious to my folks - your thoughts have certainly been appreciated - thank you xx

In October this year, we went up to Northumberland and we did something we'd promised ourselves for a very long time - catch a fishing boat and visit the Longstone Lighthouse on one of the islands of the Farne. It was an 'interesting' trip suffice to say I am glad the sea was calm and the sky was blue..... Any hoo, it was worth it once we were there and a good memory once I'd got my landlubber-feet on solid ground - phew!

This little blue tub was not our adventure-craft, nope, ours was a lot smaller and lower down and once full of passengers (press-ganged or otherwise) felt very close to the water line.


Another happy Tada! Another shawl - this time for ME (it is actually a Tada from a little while ago but just not got round to the reveal!)
I wear it most days and it so so Snuggly and Warm Around My Neck!

Happy happy:)



11 - a little magick and a lot of positive thought

I have this lovely little book of 'Magic Verse', it's an anthology of poetry and the first sentence in the introduction says ' All poetry is magic' and I agree. The words can sweep you away or fire you up, you can feel lost in the doggerel or be stung into action. I read them for reassurance, read them for guidance or just purely for pleasure.

My Mom's avatar and blog name is 'Jak' - after her and my Dad's cat. 

Jak has probably had a stroke, which unless it is a stroke by a loving hand along a glossy black coat, it is not the sort of stroke a cat would want. He is very poorly and my folks are worried - please think positive purr filled thoughts for him. I know at this minute he is lying in his bed asleep - sleep has wonderful curative properties as do positive thoughts and loving hands.

I was going to waffle on about a couple more FOs and WIPs but I think that can wait for another day xxx

"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley


10 - counting again and a bit of a Ta da!

In between heavy showers  and dramatic seascapes, we found a field full of pigs.  Large whites. Truffling and snuffling in the mud and grunting contentedly. We stopped to take pictures then having satisfied myself with my photos, I turned to jump back into the car when I spotted the curved mirror.  And beneath that mirror? A metal tag number 10. Excellent!


Some time ago, whilst fettling around in a charity shop, I came across a lovely wool jumper and for the grand sum of £1 I bought it. It had been darned on one elbow in a lighter grey wool and the other elbow was completely threadbare but there was potential. It was stashed to be repaired at a later date........fast forward probably a year or two! 

Himself found the jumper on Sunday. 

We looked at it - it seemed too small for him and I wondered if it would fit one of my boys. Youngest looked at it and proclaimed that with patches on the elbows (like a geography teacher he said) he would love to wear it. Youngest was very specific what colour patches he wanted - they had to be brown and round. I wondered if I had the correct sort of material to do the repairs but Youngest stated that he wanted the patches to be knitted! Woo hoo! I could manage that, then I had a brainwave - my knitting is still slow and to be honest I thought that knitted patches would not be 'tough' enough for a lively 13 year old - so I crocheted them using Ronaldsay wool and BAM! One happy youngster and one happy ME! 



9 - 9 - 9 it's yule cake making time

I have several festive tins that over the years have become firm favourites for stashing away paints or threads, ribbons or snippetity bits of felt - all kept for school projects or card making, sewing or crafting. This one here is full of acrylic paints that we always take on holiday so on rainy days we can paint pebbles collected off the beach. It used to be all three of us that sat around a picnic bench painting and talking as the rain fell outside but these days it tends to be just me...oh well - at least I haven't grown up!!


On Sunday - despite it being a particularly grey and dreich one - it seems the perfect day to start our festive cake. I'd found a new recipe and it looked not only fool proof and sounded delish!

Now, after the kitchen was filled with a warm spicy scent for several hours, a cake securely wrapped in greaseproof paper rests in a cupboard. 
If you've not make your chrimbly cake yet and you are looking for a easy recipe - try HERE coz if I can do it - it must be easy :) 



8 - 8 nearly too late!

8 - 8 - it's a date!

A lovely reminder of some sublime days out. Walking on Lindesfarne links on a summery holiday, peering through an evening window display in an autumnal Settle and a brisk wintery walk around Gargrave.


On Saturday I completely over ate and made a pig of myself and as I type this I am feeling fat and full and rather sorry for myself - but all this was for a good reason! A work friend and myself were on duty this weekend, the morning flew by and as we finished two more dear colleagues met up and we all went of to celebrate a birthday lunch - at The Courtyard. The birthday shawl seemed to go down well so it was worth the late night and lunch break knitting! We spent a very happy afternoon nattering and drinking lattes and all too soon we had to leave.

A mad dash home to change so we could go out to a family festive dinner.  Much eating and laughing later we came home all feeling rather rotund! Ergh don't think I can look at food again for aaaaages (well may be I will have recovered by breakfast!)




7 - Road mark

Looking back, I think it was a gouge in the tar rather than a road worker's calligraphic number 7 - still what ever or how ever it was created - it is perfect for today :)

Not much waffle today - tired. But after this weekend I am sure I will have loads to say!

Thank you for your lovely comments and welcome to a couple of 'new' faces - millyandmummy :) and Gail :)


6 - look who's popping in for a bit of festive fun

Last weekend we went down to Ingleton - a wonderfully quirky town - for a wander around and hopefully find a spot in a rather popular but very tiny tea shop. We failed on the tea shop mission but I did buy some reclaimed wool from a lovely fairtrade shop and more appropriately for the time of year - a photo for today's number!

Ah - nice one :)


I've been baking again - silly thing is, I have nothing but photos to show for it - oh that and three happy faces as they brush the crumbs away!
We love gingery foods - gingerbread men, ginger parkin pigs, ginger parkin cake, gingery fruit cake, ginger tea - the list goes on and on. Himself had made it quite clear he really fancied some ginger parkin cake, the hints were definitely not subtle (including being driven to the store to collect the ingredients!)
So, feeling a little under pressure (three chaps standing hopefully in the kitchen as I starting putting the the cake together) I
Recipe - BBC Good Food Parkin - YuM! 
Excuse me ..... I'm off to the kitchen to make another one.......!

Do you have that problem?
You know the one - no sooner baked than eaten?

It is a good problem though!!


5 - did you spot it? oh and a DELISH recipe!

Over the summer we had many lovely walks, often on the Dales where we would go through fields and farms. Not surprisingly there isn't a lot of numbers about! So when I spotted the gate I had to take a photo and then later when we sat nursing a tea as we  rested on a mossy hillside, one of the boys took a photo of a ladybird (or lady bug) and it was only later that I noticed that although it is a 7 spot bug, only 5 of the spots are on show - perfect!

Now for some festive nibbling news.

Something Himself and I love is Stollen. Now suddenly the boys have realised they rather like it too! So this year I tried making it for the first time EvEr and it WAS YuMMMMMM!!

There was an awful lot of scoffing and asking for seconds and inquiring about possible thirds....I think it might be a keeper (or rather an eater!)

Fancy trying it? well - I used theAllrecipes UK | Ireland  - recipe HERE

  • Do you have any new recipes that you know will be a firm family favourite?
  • Have you tried baking something different and been delighted at the results?
  • Go on - share - I've got my cooking mojo back!


Four stars and a very satisfied TA da!

Do you know what I did on Tuesday?
Well, a colleague and I wandered around town looking for a number 4. I had not been able to find one before - so this was a final push to find that elusive number. I had almost given up when my friend spotted this.....

Brilliant - Job done :)

Now I can waffle on a bit about some knitting progress!

I have other finished work to show but I've not taken photos yet. This one is destined for a birthday present so I need to get it blocked and wrapped up for the weekend.

I was inspired by Sachiko Uemura's Spring Kerchief and when I cast on with Rico Romance (Mohair, wool & acrylic) in Ice Blue and Mink it was like knitting a warm cloud.

 I have knitted it quietly at work or in the evenings after a bit of studying,

 It initially took a while to grow then suddenly this evening it finally came to the last row, a very satisfying cast off and three tassels later.....

The pictures are a little flat as they are taken with a flash but you can just make out the different shades of the main body of the stockinette shawl and the final garter stitch border and tassels.

Happy ? Oh yes and a little sad - I want to keep this shawl for myself but I know that it is going to a good home - so I better block and wrap before I change my mind!