Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lewis Collins - sadly missed

I was genuinely saddened just now to hear of the death of the lovely Lewis Collins who played Bodie in The Professionals. I'd never have got a Geography Higher if it hadn't been for the pressure of getting my homework finished on a Sunday night to be able to watch my favourite programme. It seemed so very different to many of the programmes of the time as it was both stylish and the heroes were real heart throbs to a teenaged girl. It seemed to appeal to all of the family too, my Mum and younger sister were total Bodie fans, my Dad imagined himself to be their undercover partner should the two heroes ever need to call on him and I drooled over Martin Shaw's Doyle. There we sat watching it before we headed to bed, it was our final relaxation on a Sunday night.

I had posters on my wardrobe of them from the must have Jackie magazine. As I got older and too cool to have them on show I kept the posters inside my wardrobe doors, and when we cleared out my Dad's house a few years ago after he died he'd kept this wardrobe and the posters were still there. Even to this day if I see a Capri or a Mark I Escort it takes me back and I dreamed of one of these being my first car. Admittedly, Martin Shaw was always the man for me but the on-screen chemistry between the two was what really made the show. So to hear Lewis has died feels like a personal loss as they were a part of shaping my growing up from watching them as The Professionals and in other shows and endlessly poring over snippets of information and posters from the Jackie and Just Seventeen magazine.

May he rest in peace and may God comfort his family and friends he has left behind.

Sew Confident - Weeks Three and Four

Week three and my nemesis - bunting! I just can't seem to find the love for bunting which is odd as I love decorative, vintage items but the bunting remains a firm no-no. Some of the class brought in some utterly gorgeous Christmassy fabrics and one had a beautiful Black Watch Tartan. I rather wish I'd thought of this as I might have got some mileage or use out of my creation as I could probably have tolerated it for Christmas. As it was I'd bought the Cath Kidston-style Ikea print. It looks neat enough but I'm still not sure how I ended up with three subtly different sizes of pennants!

I also didn't realise you could get patterned bias binding, or that bias binding was simply fabric cut on the bias and folded. I thought it was some kind of special 'thing' that you bought, not something that you bought as it was easier to by ready thick am I....?
 I did promise our lovely tutor Jenny that I would at least put it up, which I have done. However, it is up with white-tack and came down once photographed.

Week Four was more my style and we learned how to insert a zip and make a make up bag. I made mine a little larger. I should really have measured the size I needed beforehand as I wanted it for my Tunisian Crochet hooks but it fitted perfectly when I got home. I plan to use the blue and white fabric for making my knitting and crochet organisers as my freestyle project in week six.
The little item is a slightly too tight glasses case made from scrap fabric. Waste not, want not! I've even ordered some dried lavender and plan to make little sachets with the other scrap pieces while I have access to the class sewing machine and will just hand sew the tops after filling and add some of the pretty ribbons I've been stockpiling.

Of course, no attempted photo shoot is complete without the boss cat snoopervising. 
Week Five is a piped cushion cover and then we are let loose on out own creations.......!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sew Confident - Weeks One and Two

I got behind with writing my blog postings so the whole six week course is going to be condensed and reported on this week in two class batches, so not long to find out how I did.

Week One of sewing class was great to meet the six other keen sewing bunnies and to find out about how a sewing machine works. Everyone was very friendly and we ranged from complete novices to those who already had some experience but wished to refine their skills. Though the class is held in Clydebank College it is lead by Sew Confident and the very talented Jenny.

I was mightily impressed to learn even the basics which got me started as this was my big aim. We were given some scrap material and allowed to play about with the stitches, threading the machine, tensions and just to get comfortable using it.

I'd brought my glasses wrapped in a hankie that night as I couldn't find the case and at the end of the class I decided to seam up the test scraps into a little glasses case. Despite being very rough and ready I've used it everyday since! One of my colleagues said it looked like a bit like cardiac rhythms, and it is now duly named. 

Week Two was when we got to get serious and make something intentionally. I'd bought some lovely stripey material but was uncertain it would be strong enough for the industrial loads I tend to cram into my bags. Jenny emailed us details of places to find supplies and IKEA was ideal as they open late. Their range is rather limited but it is reasonably priced and accessible. I chose a lovely simple navy flower/vine pattern on white as my key fabric for the tote bag and my self chosen makes later and a Cath Kidston-y type fabric.
The tote bag making was good and I learned how to make a French seam. Unfortunately, I somehow fell behind at the beginning in the measuring and cutting out stage and felt I was always out of sync playing catch up. I was the only one who didn't finish her bag on the night! This might be partly because my table mates already have some machining experience or just because I am already in a remedial stream all on my own! I did attempt to finish it quickly but was beginning to make mistakes so decided it was much better just to wait till the next week.

What was great about the class was that Jenny, the tutor, keeps a handle on what everyone is up to but you are still free to work at your own pace. This means there is none of that horrible hurrying up so that you are not slowing up proceedings or sitting twiddling your thumbs until everyone else is ready. She is also immensely reassuring so that if you think you've gone wrong she either reassures you, or tells you how to rectify it. This is a brilliant class for me as the whole thing is new to me and because there are only small numbers it feels like one-to-one tuition as you don't need to wait for ages to get help or to move onto the next stage of the project.

Week Three.....bunting.....!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sewing classes

I am a complete novice at machine sewing and don't even own a machine. However, I was very tempted this summer by the reasonably priced offers by both IKEA's SY and Lidl's basic Singer .

What put me off making the purchase was wondering how much I would really use it and the possibility of it turning into a dust catching ornament. Added to this is the difficulty of deciding which features are actually worth a drop in bobbin or self threading needle the most convenient, do I need lots of fancy stitches, is a basic or computerised model best for my use or would I be better with a little handheld sewing machine for all that I do? Looking around the internet wasn't hugely helpful as many of the views were quite polarised with little comparative information.

As a family we are sort of genetically predisposed towards Singer Sewing machines. My Mum and Grandfather both worked for Singer's in Clydebank in the bookbinding department which made the manuals, handbooks and other printed materials. We used to have a machine but I think it was thrown out many years ago  during a house move and I really wish it hadn't been. It was used for the matchy matchy Mother/Daughter outfit thing that was a craze when I was the toddler half of this duo. My Mum had bought it when she worked there and they were solidly built machines with a good reputation. Sadly the downside was it weighed as much as a baby elephant and I ?think? it was chewing up the fabric. It could have probably been repaired but is long gone now and apparently the new Singer machines at the cheaper end are of nowhere near as good a standard.

With all this in mind I thought the best I could do was signup for a class and learn some machining skills and have a go. I reckoned that would either make it clear what features, if any, I need or get the whole idea out of my system. It took me a while to get a class as the first booked up quickly but by checking back I managed to get a place on a later run.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Scarf mania

I was planning to do a post on each scarf when I'd bought my first two balls of wool. However, as my scarves have multiplied alarmingly I thought it best to do some group shots.
 From left to right: Rico Pompon, Red Poodle wool from Aldi and the Vite Cowl

 Broad crocheted scarf in Flutterby baby chenille wool which is absolutely gorgeously soft
 L to R: Aruba, Amazon Ribbon, Nina, Desire. These were great fun to work with as I'd never worked with these one ball scarf yarns. I did find the Aruba a bit of a pain as it was a nuisance to keep having to open out the mesh at the top but apparently this gets easier as you get used to it.

The Vite Cowl I tried from a Ravelry pattern Meredith had blogged about was made with a fairly cheap acrylic yarn to see if I could manage the pattern but it has probably turned out to be a false economy. Unfortunately when Magic was pudging and kneading away at it, it did not stand up to it very well. I think it might be best if I 'donated' this to the cats and maybe made a little bean bag bed out of it as it doesn't look like it will wear well. The lesson is use a decent yarn next time because even if I cant manage the pattern I can always rip it out and reuse it.
Finally, you turn your back to get the next scarf to photograph and the snoopervisor moves in for a bit of quality control!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Feeling Chibi

Presumed missing in the spare bedroom of despair are the original contents of my knitting bag. With these are my old darning needles which I am going to need for sewing in the ends of my knitted and crochet scarves. It is not a job I relish and many are finished but almost all need that essential couple of stitches to take them to properly finished.
On the web I noticed these angled needles called Chibi which both looked extremely functional and made me laugh. I can see it will be easier to work with a needle with a slight angle and they were made by Clover who have a good quality reputation and I know them from having their needle felting tools. In addition to these I also ordered some latch hook needles which should be great for thicker yarns which can be a nightmare to get through a needle.
The bit that amuses me is around the alternative use of the word. Although this city has a proud and historic past it also has an issue with bladed crime which in the local vernacular is referred to as 'chibbing'. Obviously, I despise anyone involved in such activities and I've no idea what the origins of this word are locally or why Clover uses it, but as the nefarious activity is not one I'm drawn to I probably don't really need to know.

However, it does feel rather odd to now be the proud owner of my own set of 'chibs' for sewing up my creations and makes me smile as I make a very unlikely ned*.

*Ned - Non Educated Delinquent - probably the Scottish equivalent of a chav. I think ned is a older term for the criminally engaged youth underclass though both seem to have an interchangeable affinity for bling jewellery, sexual incontinence and being at home to watch, enjoy and somehow understand Jeremy Kyle and companions.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Crochet Journey

I didn't think I was crocheting prolifically instead I was focussing on how hard I found patterns to follow. However, when I was taking some pictures of my recent makes on the only day where we had some sunshine I realised I'd actually come quite far. This picture shows my progression from supported granny squares to my following the collar pattern myself and creating something wearable. I've also made a couple of scarves but they were just in a simple half treble stitch. The lovely round ball we made after the granny square has gone missing. I gave it to Magic but she looked disgusted that she was expected to run after it and I think she may have hidden it.
These are the squares and rounds Hazel helped me pattern. Mine is the squinty on the right with the white border.
We then went on to make the circles and I cant recall which is mine. I cannot decide what I'm going to do with them so I've kept them attached to the ball of cotton and the stitch holder is keeping them secure. This is something I've started doing when I'm working on a piece between sessions. I was always finding the hook fell out, I dropped it or the cats had a little poke at it. So now I take the hook out and replace it with a closed stitch holder and it stops it ravelling out inadvertently.
The little hearts were from a web tutorial written in US terminology and easy to do once I'd twigged to the pattern and used youtube. Less working to a pattern as making a template and copying that. This was where I managed to finally work out how to do the elusive 'magic loop' or 'adjustable ring'. I've watched countless youtube tutorials on this and cannot believe how something that is fundamentally very simple can be made to look complicated...either that or I just wasn't clicking to what I was being told. Hazel uses the chain method but something must be up with my tension as when I worked into the first chain space the centre of the heart just got bigger and bigger as in the purple and blue. 
I fiddled about and ring loop just 'worked' and let me adjust it to keep the centre neat which I think looks better. I'm not sure if it might loosen once an item is made so I think I might work out some way to knot or sew it in firmly.
These were made to go on the ends of a long crochet scarf either stitched on or dangling. I haven't decided which yet. I cannot tell you just how soft and fluffy this chenille style baby wool is and how lovely it is to work with. It called Flutterby and is seriously gorgeous. Normally, I am not that fussy over synthetic fibres but this is a delight and I'm so looking forward to my long scarf being finished. It does make a bit of a squeak on the crochet hook so I've ordered some bamboo ones which should be smoother.

 And these take us to my crochet collar which I've given a post all of its own. All in all, when I look at where I was a few weeks ago I don't think I've done too badly in reinvigorating my crochet skills. I can recall doing borders and edgings but never making a crocheted item like this collar that I could confidently wear.
These are the books Hazel loaned me and I've found them very interesting though, as I said in another post just don't ever call me a Happy Hooker, even though I am pretty delighted with my completions to date!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Herd about the sheep

This is only loosely knitting related. On my one and only stay in the Lake District I came across some of the weirdest looking Shetland pony/sheep crosses wandering across the deserted roads. I thought they were so bizarre I got out and took some pics. I reckoned they must be sheep as they had that totally belligerent, cynical look about them instead of the curious pony look. The one at the front looks relatively benign and even a bit cute but the others looked a bit mad including the one planning an ambush from behind the bush.

You can probably tell I am not that fond of sheep. Despite hating the smell of sheep my Mother drags me to farm parks at lambing time so that she can have a cuddle of a wee newborn lamb. And yes, she'd happily trample an unwary toddler to skip the queue! To her intense annoyance I am always the one to get 'adopted' by a mummy sheep with lambs at heel which follows me round and round the whole farm trip. All very lovely and sweet from a distance but I can still smell them! 

I had stayed overnight in a lovely B&B which also had couple of Yurts in Wasdale and it was an amazing, rural, bleak, stunning and utterly entrancing landscape. On my way home I headed up to Wastwater which is the deepest lake in England to see Scafell Pike which is the highest peak and they were truly stunning. You can tell from the pics that the road towards the lake is somewhat 'underdeveloped' and includes sheep bollards which you don't always find in the city.

When I got back from the Lakes I had a word with my friend who had given me Red as a kitten. She has a farm and I thought I'd find out what exactly these roaming beasts were. Sadly, I didn't have the pics to hand and all she did was laugh at my description and suggested I'd been at the cooking sherry and probaaa-bly shouldn't have been driving!

Later, I found out these mad looking sheep/pony beasts were actually a very special and famous breed of sheep called Herdwicks native to the Lake District and no ponies were involved! Hopefully, the next time I get a chance to explore this stunning place I'll be less freaked by the Herdwick's, tho' I'll still be wary of the nutty one behind the hedge!

Saturday, 16 November 2013


Just looking at this picture I was struck by all the happy things in it.
  • My fluffy boy-cat, always drapes himself over whatever it is that interests me
  • A box of shiny, sparkly seed beads so full of possibility (and a cat head!)
  • My dining table so generously gifted by my friend Eva and delivered and put together by her husband while we nattered and made breakfast last year
  • A very tall glass of Cherry Pepsi Max, my guilty pleasure
  • My box of Swarovski crystals (behind Red's hip) which just mesmerise me
  • One of my favourite tall 'Glencoe' style coffee mugs from Dunoon Potteries and an IKEA tumbler
  • Pretty patterned scissors - anyone who knows me knows about my 'pretty scissor fetish'
  • Mondriaan style hankie box in the background which is a pattern I love and have an online tutorial for making a canvas or a rag rug which may get made someday 
  • Sunlight diffusing through the beautiful dragonfly voiles - I didn't realise I had bought these many years before for the other house but never used them. When I moved I found these and Odette and I measured them, Anita managed to unpick the seams and re-sew to fit absolutely perfectly and Odette and I argued confusedly for ages when hanging them as we couldn't work out which way up they were to go. Just for accuracy she was right they are dragonflies and not skinny wonky butterflies as I thought.
  • Time - this cant be seen here but, as I have my beads out, a very relaxed cat rolling about waiting to be petted, coffee and pepsi to hand then it is an odds on bet I had a little time to be creative and reflective and at peace
Sometimes pictures capture so much more of your life than what you think you are recording.
This is a cross post with my other blog as this picture just seems to bring both together and I couldn't decide which one it belonged on.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Vite Cowl

I saw this lovely cowl on Meredith's blog and thought it was lovely but I had neither the super chunky wool nor the size 13 needles. I downloaded the pattern and saw it could be made with size 10 needles, which I do have and thought I might buy some super chunky wool the next time I was in a wool shop.

Oddly, enough the opportunity presented itself quicker than I thought and I settled down to start my first knitting pattern from Ravelry. I'd joined the site years ago but thought it was a bit advanced and only for hardcore knitters and not dilettantes like me, obviously I was wrong and it is a fabulous resource.

It definitely knitted up fairly quickly, all told it took me about 6-7hrs but this included using youtube for multiple reminders of the stitches, two false starts because it 'just didn't look right' and a number of row removals and re-knits. I found the first part hard to envisage as it looked really odd but this was due to my inexperience and inability to see the pattern until it emerged. I did find a counter app on my phone essential especially as I was able to tap it instead of lifting a pencil and making a note or tick.
When finished it looked like a big wonky single cable and is quite narrow which means I'm going to be forced to learn how to block a piece of knitting. I will probably need to be careful as the wool is entirely acrylic. I didn't dawdle over my purchase as I was in a hurry. Actually it went along the lines of 'Do you have super chunky wool? Yes, that 's it there. Great I'll take the lilac'. It was only £2.65 a ball so excellent for a trial run and although very it is thick it still feels soft, unless of course I make it crispy with the iron when blocking! 
I don't have a proper finished picture of the cowl yet but in the meantime here is Magic checking the 'pudge-ability' of it.

I would definitely make another as it is fast to make up and I did get quicker as I got familiar with it. I wonder if it might be possible to use a slightly narrower yarn with the size 10 needles to give it more floppiness and I also wonder if it might be possible to do each row twice side by side to get a broader scarf/cowl which could be used as a makeshift hood if the need arises.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Just DON'T call me a hooker.....!

As part of my renewed interest in crochet the little amigurumi are calling me. Only one slight impediment to making these little items in the round is the fact I am completely unable to follow or even understand a crochet pattern. So, I did what any self respecting person would....I called a friend! 

Hazel is seriously crochet talented but hilariously unable to go off-piste when crocheting whereas I can craft simple things by looking at them and guessing but have absolutely no pattern literacy. What a pair(!) but very lucky as our skills and talents complement each other. So she came over, with her 'Lady Almoner's' posh wicker crafting basket and, after dinner, we set to work.

It was fab doing some follow-along to get back into the swing of things and to apply what we were doing to the patterning terms. I am very much a visual learner and this was ideal. Youtube is great and I've learned so much from teach-a-longs but somehow the whole pattern thing just wasn't working for me. I've managed to pick up how to do Tunisian crochet but the discipline of patterning was refusing to stick.

 Not bad, but getting least round and square are recognisable now...! 
We made a granny square, a circle and a ball that actually was round and she lent me some fabulous crochet books with patterns and instructions. In return I was able to teach her some Tunisian crochet I'd picked up and how to knit up the frilly and pompom scarf yarn I seem to be obsessed with.

It was a lovely evening spent catching up, learning new skills to add to our memory banks. Two things, however, struck us..... 1. despite loving one of the books she brought I cant  ever see myself ever being referred to as a 'Happy Hooker'! and 2. on the way out of the door Hazel realised with horror she had just inadvertently been to a Knit and Natter night which made her feel ancient!

I was so chuffed with the little ball that I pinched some wadding from the materials I'd bought to reupholster a piano stool just so that I could complete it. I then 'gifted' it to Magic for her to play with. Sadly, I'd failed to reckon with a sincerely relaxed cat who looked at the ball, then up at me and then cocked her head at the ball while maintaining eye contact as if to say "that thing's over there if you are looking for it...". Nothing quite like a cat to puncture your pride.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Amigurumi....ah'ma gonna struggle more like.....!

I enjoy crochet and am loving all the amigurumi work I am seeing around the internet. According to Wikipedia amigurumi is the Japanese trend of making small stuffed animals and items with anthropomorphic features. It is usually made with a smaller gauge crochet hook to create a tighter more compacted piece which wont allow the stuffing to show through.

I've seen a lovely little Minion design that I thought was very witty and cute but I am struggling with the pattern for a few reasons.

1. I've never followed a crochet pattern. I was taught  by my Nana and she was a 'by eye' crafter so I have always been used to looking at things and deducting how it should be shaped. Being reductionist about it, all crocheting and knitting boils down to starting with the number of stitches needed and increasing or decreasing as needed to shape before casting off. All fair and well and it is a logic skill I've translated to a lot of work or home challenges but if there is a pattern then surely it is quicker to do this than spend time rethinking it.
2. Crochet patterns come in American and UK versions...(who knew, at least I didn't) and each has different names for the stitches.
3. Because I learned aged around 5yrs old I watched, learned and copied so none of my crochet stitches, apart from the chain, have any names whatsoever. This means I am on a hiding to nothing as neither a UK or US pattern makes any sense. 

I've tried working it out using the fabulous google and youtube and some great bloggers I read who provide tutorials but somehow it is not sticking in my head. I think the issue is because my crochet style of learning is predominantly 'see one, do one' then I probably need to get a clever person to do me a tutorial so that I can put a name/s to a stitch visually while creating it.

This is my shameful skelly attempt at crocheting after many, many years absence. Just for info that is meant to be a granny SQUARE!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bamboo needles, bampot knitter....!

So how good are the 18pairs of knitting needles for the princely sum of £7 inc P&P...?

They are very light and look like they will handle well. The smallest sizes look a little frail and are super bendy as though they may snap. However, as I've never really knitted in ultra thin wool they'll probably not see much use or I can always use one of my old fine metal needles!

I checked all the sizes were there and that there were no catches on the needles. A few had some irregularities or small bits that might snag on the wool. As bamboo is a natural material I wasn't too bothered by this but a couple of wee swipes of my Leighton Denny crystal nail file did the trick. I used this as it is super fine and is great for nail snags so I reckoned it would work well on the bamboo and better than a traditional nail file. Apparently, from reading around, it seems that the more you use them the oils from your hands 'conditions' the needles. It is nice to know that as they are made from a natural material they will improve with age and use.

Now I'm fully armed with my tools and wool it will probably all be downhill from here as what I really I need is skill, talent and patience.....wonder if you can get some of these on ebay or amazon.....?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Washcloth connundrum

Lots of the craft bloggers I read have posted about making washcloths. When I first saw these I was quite bemused and could not see why anyone would waste their knitting or crochet talents on something as mundane as a cloth for washing dishes and wiping down kitchen work surfaces! What a waste of time, talent and gorgeous cotton yarn. I was mystified....until I read about this washcloth which not only made matters not only much clearer but have made me most desirous.

When I wash my face I either use my Geisha towel in the shower or if I am using the wash hand basin then I use a facecloth. I have a set of lovely Elemis mitts but find them a pain to use as the water leaks up my arm from the elasticated wrist and they are too large for my hands as well as the 'should I wear one mitt or two' dilemma. I also have a couple of Liz Earle muslins but these seem to roll into an unusable ball in my inexpert hands. So towelling facecloths which can be used once and slung in the washing machine seemed to be the answer to the job as well as satisfying my hygiene fixation.

Or so I thought, until I developed my new washcloth envy. I can just see a pretty little stack of silky soft pastel washcloths in nice patterns adorning the bathroom shelf which can also survive the washing machine. Now, how much cotton yarn will I need to treat myself to for this.....!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Scarf One - false start

As a child and young adult I used to be a prolific knitter of small things. I once tried a cardigan in 1985 but ended up losing interest, the pattern and then the half knitted pieces. It may turn up again but the likelihood of it being finished in my lifetime is not good. I much preferred small items that I could fashion from my imagination and my sister's dolls benefitted greatly for many years.

I'm feeling the need to create with wool again and have bought some of the lovely new scarf yarns available. Loads of things seem to have changed including the fact good old wool is now referred to more loftily as 'yarn'. I suppose this is reasonable because good old double knitting now seems to have been entirely overshadowed by frightfully posh llama, silk and alpaca luxury varieties, organic offerings from small scale suppliers and new technical offerings like ribbon and scarf yarn. I can cope with the advancement of computing and software but knitting....!!!

When I last knitted needle sizes were only just changing now they are fully over to mm sizes. I didn't bother buying new needles as I knew I had loads, including the inherited ones from my grandmother. I can tell which were her needles as they have a distinct boomerang bend in them. This was because she knitted with her needles being anchored under her armpits and having to somehow get the points to meet after navigating her impressive bosom. I was certain I had my needles to hand as I'd located my knitting bag from the house move and knew it was heavy and full. Sadly, I didn't realise  I'd last used it for my cross stitch phase. The only needles stashed in the front pocket were dinky size 10's and 11's (still old money sizes for me!) and a gauge which gives conversion sizes. All great but not much use for starting my scarf.....!

So, back on the internet to find new needles and it seems that the knitting world is raving about wooden needles as being very light and comfy and reducing the traction on the wool that was a problem with metal needles. 'Squeaky' wool which used to stick on the needles was the bane of my life as I can't stand the noise or feel of it. I can recall my Mother poking herself intermittently in the head with her knitting needle as she raked her hair to lubricate them which I always found faintly revolting but to be fair it did work, and I'd occasionally do it too with a troublesome wool. Carbonised bamboo seems to be pretty good from reviewers as comfortable and pleasant to work with, and some sellers are offering a set of all sizes for less than a pair or two of the metal ones which seems like a bargain. So I think that settles it. If they are not great then it wont be too bad a loss and if they work they will be an upgrade on my missing-in-action metal ones.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Innocent Big Knit

I love when it is time for all the little Innocent smoothie bottles to arrive 'dressed' in the supermarket with a cosy hat. I am always excited when I see the call go out for the little woolly hats and have noticed each year that the knitting is becoming increasingly more sophisticated. I never seem get round to knitting or crocheting any but I always make a point of buying the well dressed drinks. I spend ages choosing my favourite little hats from the selection and have even, to my shame, been known to hat swap two bottles to marry up my favourite flavour to a hat....!

Tho' I enjoy smoothies I rarely have them for a number of reasons. One, I feel guilty drinking my fruit quota instead of eating it; two I always drink diet drinks and probably prefer my calories to come in a chocolate bar wrapper if I am honest and three, I hate drinking anything with pureed banana from the taste and texture standpoint. To their credit Innocent do brilliant banana-free fruit juice versions. So, as it is all for charity and the onset of winter is a time when a good boost of vitamins never goes amiss, I allow myself the luxury of indulging in a smoothie with my lunches.

My Mother loves smoothies even more than me, and so I always make sure she gets a supply. However, the irony of giving an iced cold drink to her in a charitable attempt to keep people of her age warm in winter is not lost on me!

Afterwards the little hats usually get plonked on the heads of our small collection of dog and cat fridge magnets, the odd ornament or popped in the cupboard as egg cosies.

This year I am going to try to finally make even a couple to send in now I've got my lovely new needles and hooks sets and be part of the big knit. I'll probably only manage a simple hat but I kind of have a hankering to knit a minion's head, a Tam O'Shanter and my two cats. I might just end up with a garter stitch basic but the thought was there!

Update: I wrote this when I was full of enthusiasm but life got in the way. Only two were knitted and I was too late to send them off. Not to worry, I'll use them as egg cosies and send off a donation as well as stock up on some juice wi' a bunnet when I next get to the supermarket!