Archive | January 2015

Farewell, January


Being a summer type of person, I have never really liked January.  All those cold dark nights and the flat feeling that Christmas is over for another year, with spring still a long way off.  It’s even worse that in January  I get to be another year older, although inside my head I am still 27!

So this year I stitched this little celebration to mark the passing of the winter months and gave it to M whose birthday also falls in January.  DeeDee and Ailbe feature along with some seasonal flowers, a snowflake and some champagne to cheer us all.

During our snowy walk this morning, on this last day of January, Ailbe decided that, unlike Julie Andrews, snowflakes on his eye-lashes are definitely not one of his favourite things.

Happy Friday, Fenton Knitting Group!

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Yet another week has simply flown by and we are almost into February already.  My days are very busy, planning lessons and teaching, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My Friday smile this week came as I reflected on the week gone by, the knitting project I have finally finished and the next piece of sewing I am itching to start and my thoughts turned to my little knitting group.  On Tuesday evenings everything stops for just an hour and a half and my ‘knitting ladies’ arrive.  I started the Fenton Knitting Group soon after we relocated to Lincolnshire.  We are only a very small band at present but hope to grow as the word gets round.  We are not all knitters, but all needle crafters are welcome and what a laugh we have.  My poor, long suffering husband can hear us from his ‘office’ and is convinced we are fuelled by something stronger than tea and cake.  But no, it is simply the pleasure of sharing our ups and downs, not always craft-related, with like-minded people.  I make the cakes, though I am most definitely not the best baker and certainly not very good at decorating them, but years of whipping up sponges to feed hungry children coming home from school means that I can manage a Victoria sandwich.  Occasionally I become a little more adventurous and bake a Black Forest Gateau and this week it was my personal favourite, Flapplejacks.

Thank you for your company, ladies and Happy Friday!


Happy Friday Button 180px

Oh, Ailbe!

I was planning a relaxing hour with my knitting, but Ailbe beat me to it.  At least it proves that the aran cable throw I’m currently knitting is going to be nice and comfy.


I’m knitting the throw with two strands of aran weight yarn on 5.5mm circular needles.  There’s a garter stitch edging with cables alternately every ten rows.  I’m looking forward to finishing it, when Ailbe wakes from his nap!

Happy Friday, DeeDee!

DeeDee snoozing

With the temperatures, apparently, playing see-saws here, we celebrate every moment of sunshine.  It was bitterly cold and frosty outside this morning, but our little cat, DeeDee, managed to find herself a sunbeam to snooze in.  Here she is in her trade mark ‘meatloaf’ position, fluffing out her furry feathers on the hall sofa to capture every ray as she contemplates her long and happy life and no doubt wonders how soon it will be before she can begin to pester us for her next meal.  DeeDee came to live with us seventeen years ago as a six-week old kitten.  We have photos of her with the children when they were very young and some of her being held by my husband before his hair faded from brown to grey.  She is very much a part of our family and our home.  She has been through two house moves, has lived happily with children, who became teenagers, other cats and dogs and even took in her stride the recent arrival of a fully grown Irish red and white setter who is not always entirely sure where all of his paws are at any given moment.  She is sitting beside me now as I type, purring away happily, but with that inscrutable face which always makes us think she may actually be plotting our overthrow.  As one of my students reminded me this week: The Egyptians worshipped cats as gods; cats have never forgotten this!

Wishing you many, many more happy Fridays with us, DeeDee.

Love from Mummy x

  I think it’s about time I had my (second, but who’s counting) lunch – DeeDee x


Happy Friday Button 180px

My happy Friday moment with Ailbe!

Since our big move northwards to Lincolnshire from Kent we’ve been gradually adjusting to a new way of life.  The house needs lots of work, but is beginning to feel like home, particularly as we had lots of space for the children and their partners to come home for Christmas.  I always dread the post-Christmas blues and that awful empty-nest feeling when everyone has left and the decorations have to come down.  But this year is different.  On 30 November we brought home Ailbe, our rescue Irish red and white Setter.  He was skinny and shy, with a poorly leg, but how he has blossomed already.

On twelfth night, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I was busy unwinding the fairy lights from the stairs, thinking back on all the laughs we had over the Christmas holidays and wondering when next we would all be together again, when I looked down into the hall and saw this gorgeous face ‘smiling’ up at me.

Ailbe sit!

With Ailbe, every day is a happy day.  I just need to teach him to respect my knitting!

Reflections on knitting

handmadebysoo is grateful to Mark for finding and sharing the following quotation:
“Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.”  – attributed to Dorothy Day

How true this is.  For me, knitting has always been an ‘in between’ activity which weaves its way throughout my day.  I pick up my needles a few minutes here, a few minutes there.  Standing in the kitchen, waiting for a sponge cake to rise, sitting in the car until it’s time to go in to teach, watching a favourite TV programme for an hour, that first sit down after a stressful day, my automatic reaction is always to reach for my knitting.  That’s why you will often come across wool and needles tucked away in the oddest of places.  Time is so precious and there’s always some knitting to be done.

Come and join us for knitting tonight

The Fenton Knitting Group will be meeting tonight at The Barn in Fenton from 6pm till 7pm.  Bring along your Christmas knitting or sewing projects, share your hopes and dreams for 2015 and knit the post-Christmas blues away.  And if all that doesn’t whet your appetite – tonight’s cake is Blackforest Gateau, handmadebysoo of course!

My current knitting project is an aran cable throw.  I’m knitting it in rows on 2 circular needles because of the huge number of stitches.  I soon won’t be able to lift it so you may find me marooned on the sofa at some point, cocooned in aran wool.  How lovely!

aran cable throw