Wednesday, 28 December 2011


It's nearing completion. 

It started off as a very simple poncho, but then I added a front central cable.
And then a horizontal cabled border.
And then a cable around the hood front.
And a slice of tree branch button closure.

So now it's nothing like the original pattern.
I just have to finish the hood, and a little bit of the horizontal border, and attach the button.
I started it at Center Parcs, and I want to wear it for the first time when we go back to Center Parcs in January.

I'm using my favourite New Lanark wool in chunky. (Why use anything else? It's cheap, it's pure wool and they deliver next day). 

Please go and see more WIPs from other folk at

Friday, 23 December 2011

Earflap hat

Here is Sarah modelling an adult-sized earflap hat. 
I knitted it in a multi-stripe yarn, edged in blanket stitch, with a fat tassel and plaited ties.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Wonderful weekend

Center Parcs.
Sigh. We all want to be back there.
We went for a long weekend and had such a lovely time.
We stayed in a posh villa in Sherwood Forest with a sauna.
The highlight was seeing the girls overcome their fears of the water slides. Sarah has real anxieties over such things, to the extent of trembling at the suggestion, so this was a major step forward.  Rachel, however, has no such fears, and they don't build a slide big enough to worry her. She went abseiling and conquered the aerial adventure, showing some older boys how it should be done. They were a bit scared. I'm sure they felt better when an 8 year-old girl told them it was easy.

Of course I did some knitting, I started a poncho, but I'm saving that for WIP Wednesday.

Here is my FO Friday thing:
I said a couple of weeks ago that I wanted it finished, so
Ta-Daa! Tis done. Nice and long for a double wrap-around.

Now I just need to work out what to do with the left-over yarn.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday's Tallies

I've done another one!
Today's offering is White Cheviot.
Isn't that a nice sheepy looking sheep? And cute lambs, too.
I spun the wool quite thickly as that was how it asked to be spun (I agreed with another blogger recently that the wool itself decides how you spin it. I think that's quite true).
The wool crocheted rather nicely into its square, and tonight I sewed in the ends, labelled it and put it in its place in the blanket. It needs some Suffolk friends around it, so that will be my spinning for this week as I have run out.

Oh, and I found my dog brushes carders. They were in the bag were they were supposed to be. In the loft. Where I'd already looked. On the top.

Thankyou for visiting, and please look at some lovely work here in the Tuesday's Tallies collection. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Handmade Monday

Handmade Monday is the perfect excuse to show you my cupcakes. Or some of them, anyway. I made 70 at the weekend for the children's School fund-raising event.
I overheard the organiser asking about somebody else's cakes, due to arrive at the same time, 'Are they professional ones as well?'
It's only a hobby, but that was a nice compliment.  Anyway, they all sold within minutes.

A few of my cupcake tips:

  • Weigh the eggs with their shells on, and use the same weight of SR flour, sugar and margarine/butter. 
  • Use half butter, half margarine for the buttercream, and 3 parts icing sugar to 2 parts butter/marg.  This keeps it buttery, but fluffy. 
  • Use a Wilton 1M nozzle for the piping. It's the best. 
  • Don't give them all away. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WIP Wednesday

I'm really hoping this will be a FO soon.
It's been my travelling project for quite a while now, after being started a couple of years ago then forgotten.
I want to get started on my new travelling project, which is alpaca socks. (But not for an alpaca. I have enough trouble with a second sock, never mind a third and fourth).
It's knitted in Opal sock yarn and I shall just keep going until I run out of yarn.

Please pop over to Tami's Ami's to see more WIPs. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Tuesday's Tallies

Soay sheep

This week I wanted to get my Soay square done.  I had to wash the fleece as it was raw and a teeny bit smelly.  I've just discovered (through Ravelry) that rams can have really stinky fleeces. Thankfully, I think this one must have been a ewe's fleece.

When it was dry, I couldn't find my carding brushes (really dog brushes) and found that one flick carder didn't really cut the mustard. So that's going to have to wait.

BUT whilst looking for the carders, I found a previously spun Swaledale square, ready to label and add to the blanket. I also found some spun Suffolk, which is the wool I use for every other square, and for joining them all.

So here is the Swaledale, labelled and in place. 
And now the right way round. 

So my Tally is: 2 this week. One Suffolk square, and one Swaledale. 10 squares to go. 
Thankyou for all the lovely comments on my first post last week. 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Handmade Monday

Knitted in natural undyed wool then felted and blanket stitched. 
Finished with a bone button. 

Thankyou for visiting my blog. Pop back to Handmade Monday for more lovely crafty goodies.


No spinning today, but I found a previously spun and crocheted square of Swaledale ready to go into my blanket.  I also found some Suffolk which is spun and ready to crochet, which was a bonus, because I thought I'd run out. This is the grey wool used to make every other square in the pattern, and to crochet all the squares together, so lots is needed. I also plan to crochet a border around the whole lot when it's finished.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Things I'm loving...

Robin sent me these gorgeous sheepish buttons as a RAK. Love them to bits. They make me smile lots.

Pop over to Paisley Jade to see what everyone else is loving. Thankyou for popping in. Your comments are always appreciated. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

FO Friday

At last! Again. 
I knitted this a year ago and abandoned it at the sewing up stage. 
But tonight I finished it off. 
It all started with the buttons. Gorgeous pewter with turquoise stone centres.
The pattern was from Creative Knitting mag. 
Alluring Lace by Nazanin S. Fard 
Knitted in King Cole Bamboo. 

Well, I think I've done everything this week: Handmade Monday, Tuesday's Tallies, WIP Wednesday and FO Friday. If you have suggestions for the missing days (these need not include housework) please let me know. 
Thankyou for popping in and commenting, I'll make a fresh batch of cupcakes and put the kettle on. 
Pop over to Tami's Amis to see more FOs from more people. 

Bianca's first egg

Bianca is 23 weeks old and joined us, and our other 6 chickens, 5 weeks ago along with her friend Imogen.

Today, Bianca laid her very first egg. It was easy to tell that it was hers, because it was tiny, and bright white. We knew she would lay a white egg because she is a White Star chicken.
There it is, along with her friends' eggs. Not Imogen's, we're still waiting for her first egg.
Strange thing was, when I went into the run this afternoon, Bianca, who is normally very shy and runs away as soon as you go anywhere near her, hunched up her shoulders and sat waiting for a cuddle. So she got lots of fuss and cuddles. Obviously very proud of herself. Clever girl.
And it was delicious. Thankyou, Bianca. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WIP Wednesday

It had to be this, today.

This is what I've been mostly knitting for a couple of weeks now.
This is the back, and I have completed the 2 fronts.
With any luck, it will look like this when it's finished:
This is the wool I'm using. 
You can buy it here New Lanark Shop

Thankyou for popping in. Have you checked on the chickens? They like getting visitors too ;o)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tuesday's Tallies

My first Tuesday's Tallies too. 

Apart from last week, when I gatecrashed, because I wasn't really sure of what to do. Now though, I've found the Ravelry group, signed up and sorted my project.

My project has been going on for a couple of years, for as long as I've been spinning. I'm making a poncho/blanket from handspun British sheep wool. Every square must be handspun by me, then crocheted into a square, then labelled with the sheepy breed, then crocheted to the blanket. I won't be doing one a day, I'll aim for one a week. It would be nice to get this finished. It currently has 36 squares in the blanket, I have 12 left to do.
I will try to get a square of rare Soay wool made this week. The fleece is raw so I'm starting at sheep level.
This is what it looks like at the moment.
Thankyou for visiting. I'm enjoying looking at all of your beautiful creations too. 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Handmade Monday

This my first ever Handmade Monday.    (What's it all about?)
And it comes straight after my First Finished Object Friday. I'm on a roll.
So, I'm actually a knitter but I've chosen to show you cakes I've made recently. This is because I have no photos of current projects that I haven't already used, and there is no light now for photography.
I hope you enjoy the cakes anyway. There's a high percentage of butter in that buttercream. And the eggs in the cakes come from our own well-cuddled chickens.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Here's the bunch of silk fluff I got from Oliver Twists at Wonderwool Wales.

This is what I've spun so  far.

                                                    And I started a new bobbin so I could make 2 ply, producing this in 1 hour. 
I've been looking for a shawl pattern that will suit it, so I need something that's not too fine and lacy because of its handspun uneven nature, so I am thinking that a Multnomah would do the job nicely. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

FFO Friday

(First Finished Object Friday)

From start to finish:
I bought the wool in April from Wildfire Fibres at WonderWoolWales 
Beautifully soft, with a cotton thread running through it, threaded with tiny shiny beads, like dewdrops. I can't remember exactly, but it was less than 300 metres in length.

When I got back home after the festival, this was the first thing I started to knit from the stash that I gathered there. I found this pattern Little Arrowhead Shawl on Ravelry. This was my first shawl, and it took me a while to get used to the concept, but I got there in the end. The yarn was lovely to work with, and I tried to push all the tiny beads through to the front to get the benefit. You can't see them on the photo.
It only took a couple of weeks to knit (which is quick for me, at the moment), but on the cast-off edge, I was about 2 feet short of yarn. I tried to finish it with a plain red cotton thread, but it stood out too much.

So the project was abandoned.

Until today. I thought that today I could have my first Finished Object Friday.

 So I selected some lovely fluffiness and blended it on my drum carder.

And then got out my lovely Ashford Joy spinning wheel which Father Christmas bought me last year. 

 I spun the fluff into a single ply, which I then plied with half of the ply of the original red thread, after I'd undone the offending cast-off edge. (Are you following? :oD )

Here is the finished yarn ready to complete the shawl.

And here is the new cast-off edge.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Feed the chickens

This is a fab chicken cam, with goats and ducks too.
The best bit is feeding the chickens, you really can! Looks like they run out of food periodically though. Or I fed it all to them in one go!!!

Chicken cam

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Knit o'clock

I keep tweeting that it's 'knit o'clock' but with one of these in your house, it could be, all the time!

Say hello to the clock that knits the time and which

by the end of a year has produced a 2 meter long 

scarf, perfect for the January freeze.

Follow me on Twitter here.!/SecretSheep