Tag Archives: Knitting

Hooray for the Little Red Hen!

Little Red Hen Ladybird Book

click for the story

This is the version of the Little Red Hen story I remember from way back in primary school, how we loved our Ladybird books!

We got to talking about it the other day because my friend Kit was reminiscing about her mum, sadly long gone, who used to quote the Little Red Hen when she had failed to get anyone else to do the necessary thing, whatever it was.

‘ “Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did.’

I have been chuntering for ages about the overgrown state of my vegetable patch.  It always needs the most attention when I’m tied up with the run up to Open Studios and it’s got more and more overgrown, weedy and wild every season.  However, over the past two weeks I have channelled my inner Little Red Hen and I DID IT MYSELF!

It looks great….I’m exhausted!  I’ve filled a skip bag with rubbish, the beds are topped up with fresh compost and my little mini cold frame cum green house is crammed full of seed trays and seedlings.

Higgins has tried very hard to help.

Miniature Dachshund

Taking the little fences away from the raised beds has meant he could do lots in the way of turning over the soil, and then firming it down afterwards.dachshund in raised bed

He’s carried the trowel about helpfully (and put it away tidily where it couldn’t be lost)veg patch

More little fences have turned into a priority if any of the seedlings are going to make it to maturity once they have been planted out.  Higgins has history, remember the Mixed Greens?

Did you spot the laburnum tree?  This year it’s being completely wonderful – it alternates – and it’s very special as it was a seedling from the one in my parents’ garden.laburnum

And the bees LOVE it! For the last week or so, ever since the very first buds opened the air around the tree has been throbbing with the sound of very happy little bees…listen to this…

So this is why it’s been a little quiet here over the past week, and now there’s a lot of catching up to do.

While all this was going on the Green Man went off to the Forum in Norwich for the Open Studios Taster Exhibition – you can just see him dangling next to the patchwork…

Forum, Norwich NNOS taster exhibition

Taster Exhibition – setting up

Now it’s all systems go for the main event, which starts on May 24th.

You might like to see a glimpse of the other exhibition which was running at the same time, the most amazing knitted and crochet pergola which was made to raise funds for a local charity…

knitted pergola - John Grooms Court

knitted pergola detail

Just amazing, isn’t it?  There’s an interesting post on The Mercerie blog which will tell you more about it.

My next challenge is turning the studio into an exhibition space…eek!  I’ve just got so much STUFF.

And I haven’t forgotten about those extra little Boxes of Delight.…  2014-04-28 21.37.50

The challenge now is seeing just what I can squeeze inside, so watch this space, I’ll be back soon…x

A Funny Old Week…

It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’ve taken two steps forward and one and a half steps back, do you have those?  The main calamity was the disappearance of Planet Penny into a virtual black hole a couple of days ago.  Many apologies if this affected you in anyway, it was not your computer!  The technical term according to the help desk was the ‘White Screen of Death’ which was very scary, but I was really smug when I worked through the long list of instructions they sent and sorted it out…All On My Own!

It’s quite horrible outside, the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down, so I do hope you are keeping warm and dry.  My heart goes out to everyone suffering in the floods, it must be horrendous…

It seem very odd that if a disaster happens abroad all manner of aid, both financial and physical is supplied, but when people are suffering hardship from extreme weather conditions in our own country it seems such a struggle for them to get any help.  (If you are not in the UK, you might not be aware of the flooding in some areas in the west of the country, but you can find out here.)

Anyway, back home with a cheerful picture of the bike which I found outside our Community Shop this week.  It’s owner was probably only about eight years old, but what style…  I’m quite envious!

Flowery Bicycle

I had great plans to share a new pattern, but what with one thing and another, it’s not quite there.  I found some crochet bunting on Pinterest, but not finding a pattern decided to work it out for myself.  I wanted something a bit plainer than the more usual ‘granny’ bunting, and I’m very pleased with this.  It’s really quick and easy…

crochet bunting - Planet Penny Cotton

Hopefully I’ll finish off the pattern very soon, and there will be more photos when the light is a bit brighter!

I’ve had my ‘window-dresser hat on this week in our Community shop and with Valentine’s Day on the horizon I made this Valentine Tree for the window display…(although I’d actually quite like to keep it on my dresser!

Valentine tree

I’m now going to desert you for a comfy chair by the fire with the baby knitting, where hopefully the sound of the howling wind and lashing rain won’t be quite as loud as it is here in the studio!

I’ve amalgamated two of the patterns from the Debbie Bliss pattern book from my last post, so I’ve got a stripy tank top on the needles…

Debbie Bliss tank topI’ll be back soon…x

Baby Knits with Debbie Bliss

The rest of the world may think February 14th is St Valentine’s Day, everybody in the Planet Penny orbit knows it better as the due date for our latest family baby!  Babies, I know, have a mind of their own when it comes to their arrival time, but it’s going to happen sooner or later, so I’ve been wielding my knitting needles this week.

The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits - Debbie Bliss

I bought this Debbie Bliss pattern book at the Knit and Stitch show last autumn, but it was only last week that I headed into Norwich for some yarn shopping.  I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t done any ‘nice’ shopping for ages, and in the spirit of catching up with people in the real world rather than cyber space I was also able to combine the trip with coffee and a catch up with Lisa, whom many of you will know from her blog, Bobobun.

It’s nice that that after losing just about every yarn shop from the High Street not that many years ago, there are now more and more springing up, but it’s impossible for them to stock every yarn available so I think I shall be looking on line for some of the Debbie Bliss yarn I need for my baby knits,  However, despite not being able to get exactly the right wool for these little socks I was very pleased with the results after using this Sublime cashmere/merino/silk blend.

Debbie Bliss baby knits

baby knits Debbie Bliss

There are lots of things in this pattern book I would love to knit given the time, Debbie Bliss always comes up trumps with her patterns, and there’s a good selection for boys as well as girls which is sometimes a problem.  I love this simple little tank top…

Baby Knits Debbie Bliss tank top

And the back button opening makes it so much simple to get on and off a wriggly baby.

baby knits - tanktop Debbie Bliss

This simple tee shape looks cute in soft coloured stripes…

striped jumper Debbie Bliss Baby knitsAnd this little Wee Willie Winkie cap is just adorable, isn’t it…

striped cap Debbie Bliss Baby Knits

striped hat Debbie Bliss baby knits

And I’d quite like this teddy…

Debbie Bliss - teddy…and these coathangers for myself!

Debbie Bliss - Baby knits- coathangers

And, still in the book theme, remember I signed up for The Year in Books with A Circle of Pine Trees?   Laura’s January book is from Persephone a small publishing house I’ve long admired.  Waterstone’s quote…

 ‘Persephone is a wonderful publisher specialising in discovering criminally neglected books by wonderful female authors. Stylish and timeless – they make perfect gifts.’ 

…is very apt as nearly all the books I’ve bought from them have been gifts.  I’ve just received the Persephone Catalogue and magazine and this year I will treat myself to the occasional book (and drop large hints around my birthday!) as part of my reading project.

persephone books

Oh…whoops!

I’m sitting at the keyboard and have just become aware of a pair of brown eyes staring at me accusingly – it’s Higgins’ dinner-time!

I will dash off as required before he starts getting vocal about his hunger!

See you soon…x

 

Has Anybody Seen My Mojo…?

Norfolk SkyI’m feeling like I’m a bit of blogging dead loss at the moment, I do apologise!

I built up quite a head of steam during December with my daily Christmas Countdown posts, and had lots of plans for January but as you know, 2014 did not get off to a good start for Team Planet Penny…

And annoyingly I’m just generally not very well.  Nothing alarming, but two separate things which necessitate visits to different clinics at the hospital the other side of Norwich  for tests and consultations and so far I’m averaging two trips a week!

So the energy levels are low, and my get up and go really has got up and gone!

There are only two choices in this situation.  I can sit and fume about not being able to do the things I want to do and make myself feel even worse, or step back and let things drift a little while I administer a little TLC to myself.

I’m my own worst enemy when I’m busy anyway.  Eating standing up, being too tired to bother to cook for one in the evening when Tim is away, cheese and crackers and a glass of wine (or two!) is SO easy… Saying ‘yes’ too often when asked to do something I don’t actually have time to do…I don’t need to go on, I’m sure you’ve been there too.

So I’m switching off the computer in the evenings, and trying to ignore all but the most urgent emails and texts which arrive via my phone.  I’m eating meals at mealtimes, simple stuff but fresh and not filling up on biscuits and tea to keep going.  And while I’m waiting for my inspiration to return I’m going to make some little things for my forthcoming grandson, due to arrive of Valentine’s Day.

I’ve had a baby blanket on the hook for ages revisiting my old favourite, the Ripple stitch and made what my Dad would have referred to as a ‘Bobby-Dazzler’!

crochet ripple blanket - Planet Penny Cotton

Planet PEnny Cotton - Ripple stitch blanket

Ripple Stitch baby blanket - Planet Penny cotton

pram blanket - Planet PEnny cotton

And I bought a magazine after Christmas which I hoped would inspire me…

Handmade Gifts for Girls and  Boys

Don’t you love the dinosaurs?  I thought they would be perfect for the Planet Penny Cotton and planned to make all three.  This is the Diplodocus…

crochet diplodocus - Planet Penny CottonHe’s very cute, but alas I can’t recommend the pattern to anyone who isn’t a fairly practised crocheter. It was quite tricky to keep track of the stitches because there was no indication at the end of each increase or decrease row as to how many stitches there should actually be.  Such a shame, and silly really because there are so many other places to find patterns with picture explanations or even videos. You need a bit more when you’ve paid out £7.99 for a magazine.

crochet dinosaur - Planet Penny Cotton

dinosaur - crochet in Planet Penny CottonI have another project too, thanks to the power of serendipity!  It’s all about making time to read, and linking up with other readers.

I’ll be back soon to tell you all about it, and in the meantime I’ll leave you with the promised photo of my knitted square for the Age UK Campaign from this post.  It’ll be on it’s way to Norman Lamb MP this very week!

warm homesd now Age UK Campaign 2014

Have you made yours yet?!

See you soon…x

 

 

 

Knitting! – A New Campaign – Age UK

Here’s a project which might inspire you, a new campaign from Age UK.  At the moment we are surrounded by images of people of all ages suffering from the effects of the current extreme weather conditions.

Age UK Warm Homes Now

It really concentrates the mind on how difficult it can be when the weather is cold, and for older people just normal Winter weather conditions make life very hard.

Age UK are campaigning for Government investment in insulating existing homes, which could help save many lives.  We all want to live in a warm home, but Age UK say:

‘This winter 24,000 older people could die from the cold. But it doesn’t have to be like this: with proper insulation nearly all homes could be made much warmer, and many deaths could be prevented. We are calling on the Government to invest in making millions of homes much more energy efficient using the money it is already receiving in carbon taxes. This would be enough to pay for energy efficiency measures in at least 9 million homes over the next 15 years.’

So we need to send this message to the government via our MPs, and what better way to do it than by knitting the message?  A great way to capture the attention!

So click on the link below and find a downloadable pattern for the square and all the details for the campaign and a form to fill in and send with your square to your MP.

Age Uk We Need Warm Homes leaflet

click for details…

It looks like a very basic pattern, a great way to polish those intarsia skills.  I’m off to ferret around in my bag of woolly oddments to knit my square tonight!

I’ll be sharing it with you in a subsequent post so if you would like to send me a photo of your own square we can have a picture gallery!

Please share this where you can, with your friends, your knitting group, and on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site so we can spread the word and make this happen…

Happy knitting…!

 

 

Christmas Countdown – Day Fourteen

It’s Day Fourteen of the Christmas Countdown and I’m all behind!  With spectacular bad timing I’ve come down with a stinking cold and my carefully planned run up to Christmas (lots of scribbled notes on scraps of paper) has rather fallen apart. The cards are yet to be written, and my only decorations to date are the Christmas cards which other , more organised people, have sent to us. Still, not to worry, Christmas will happen whether we are ready or not and I’m sure if I can spend enough time this weekend steaming my head, drinking hot lemon and honey and cuddling Higgins (who is an excellent hot water bottle) I’ll be fine.

mini dachshund

Higgins in Hot Water Bottle Mode

Day Fourteen in last year’s Advent Calendar was Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day and I made these  from last year’s Debbie Bliss pattern, you can read about it here. Little jumpers seem to be quite popular as Christmas tree decorations, these from Ravelry are cute…

littel jumpers - Christmas Countdown Day 14

Berroco Design Team

…and I love the embellishments on  these…

little jumpers Chrismas Countdown day 14

Braybrook and Britten

This teeny tiny cardigan from Bugknits is just amazing.  Follow the link by clicking on the photo to see more views.  I just can’t imaging knitting something this small.

mini jumper Christmas Countdown Day 14

Bugknits

This little set is very sweet, but with no pattern I can track down…

Christmas Countdown

Pinterest

However, if you would like a change from jumpers, how about these adorable mittens from my blogging friend Mrs Micawber?

beadedmittenornament2

Mrs Micawber

or some cute little socks from Little Cotton Rabbits…

socks

Little Cotton Rabbits

I hope this has given you some knitting inspiration,  I’ll be back tomorrow… See you soon…x