Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday 31 January 2019

January round up

Expensive start to the new year, to keep under £1000, I have on average only £83 per month, so I'm well and truly over spent this month. £42.99 of the wool spend was on my loom and shuttles, which is an one off purchase. So in January I've already blown my budget, mainly on wool, but I have enough to make myself a couple warm items, and loads of socks. Or maybe  I should admit to having a yarn stash problem.  I got a good deal on crafting card, the 3rd pack free, plus £10 off.
On checking last year, I notice I didn't purchase yarn, sewing and card making every month, and I spent nothing on gardening in December, infact I spent only a small amount on fabric in December, so whilst my spending to over this month, I expect to have months where my spending is under.
One of my yarn purchase, I had a voucher from my sister, so the amount added to the list was just the extra I paid for.  I did not add my new loom to this list.

I purchased no clothes or shoes, did not expect to, never visited the sales, my Christmas crackers and room scent has been added to Christmas, and some reduced battery coloured lights plus a couple of books 2nd hand from Amazon.

I have been thinking regarding recording my yarn spend, this year I have loads for making warm clothes for me. So this year, I will record on my stash spend all yarn purchased, but once it is made into a garment I can wear, I will add the cost to my clothes list and remove the cost from the yarn list. I will not do this for socks, as I purchase the yarn for the pretty colours and the joy of knitting, rather than the need for socks.

We counted our saving jars, just for interest, we saved £222 in two pound coins, plus £60 Christmas money, so we have booked 3 nights away in Liverpool in March, it's a city on my list to visit. In our bottle we had £62.70, this is all other coins except one pound coins which we do not save, this we have put back, the jar is only half full, so we will empty once it is full. Saving takes longer as we do not shop as much, so we don't always have loads of small change.

We were still using Co-op vouchers for our shopping, they lasted 3 weeks, we did one shop from Lidl for a fridge restock, we still have loads in cupboards and freezers.

It was interesting to see on the news, how the scientist believe we should eat, including factors such as environment, health, and the need for a balanced diet, they suggest small amount of red meat once a week, chicken and fish each twice a week and two days plant, which is almost to our diet, we often have lamb instead of beef, but it's the pattern we try to follow. This year we are looking to reduce the amount of meat we serve,  our portions have always been a problem.

We were good and managed not to waste any food after Christmas, we did eat some strange meals, but no waste, which we were pleased with, but we have to stop purchasing so much in just for Christmas, which is always ate in January.

I'm not recording any steps, my fitbit broke and I'm not replacing it, I know how much I need to walk each day, January started poor, but we are now walking through the park when we can.

On a totally different topic, I have decided to give up chocolate for February, hubby is joining me, I eat far too much chocolate, it will be hard, but it's only 4 weeks.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

I've finished and started another

All finished
just in time for the cold weather.

This is my jumper, same pattern as Will's, the wool reminds me of spring.
 The markers are for the raglan increases. 
 This book is all about the different designs I can make using my loom
I have finished reading Down in the woods, another good book set this time in The New Forest, I have read every book in the DI Helen Grace set, the plots are good. I was slightly disappointing with the ending, as I felt it was implausible, won't stop me reading another book once written. I will walk to our library this week to get some more books.
I am loving the new weaving book, it has so many ideas for lovely designs.
I still have this lingering bug, plus I have hurt my wrist, I can't lift of put any pressure on it, so I have put my weaving on hold, I am still watching everything I can find on You tube, I have watch loads of what when wrong videos.
I had some time on Saturday morning with both daughters, Will and Josh, Sam decided he did not want to come. Josh loves Will, so they spent loads of time together. Later I managed to read and rest, and in the evening do some knitting, it rained most of the day, TV was appalling just nothing to watch, hubby still likes the voice, but I can't be bothered with it.
Sunday was sunny and cold, so we popped and visited Su, David and Will, later I spend time doing more knitting.
Monday was play day with Will, too cold for walks, but we did spend almost an hour in the garden, Will is very good at picking up leaves, he is very helpful, plus he loves his outside ride on toys.
Today is sign class, but I'm giving it a miss, I really don't want to go out, maybe my doctor appointment will shed some light on why I'm feeling so yuck.

Friday 25 January 2019

Foggy Friday

My wool arrived and I am so angry with myself, for some reason I only ordered 1 ball of the navy wool for Will's jumper, how stupid am I, enough to finish one jumper.
I enjoyed a wonder around town on Thursday, a change to the plans, but it was fun, I was on my own so I was able to browse where I wanted to. I purchased nothing, I did see a couple of jumpers, but passed as I have loads at home, so feeling pleased with myself. I spent another hour on the interweb thingy, looking at weaving, I really want to find out as much as I can before I start. Plus with the cold weather I have promised hubby I will knit him more socks,
I have a shoot on my Amaryllis, this one is inside, but I have noticed another bulb in the greenhouse has a shoot, I have missed these flowers this year.
This morning I took my car to a not so local out of town dealership for it's service and MOT, they only offer lifts home to our area on a Tuesday, a day when hubby requires the car, on 3 occasions I asked if I could get a lift home, this morning I refused a car, and got a taxi home. On speaking to the garage, a condescending woman told me , they give out cars just in case I want to go to the shops.  After speaking to the manager, they are now going to return the car home to me, using 2 people, it would have only taken 1 to collect me. My issue was the staff (3 phone calls and 1 on service desk), do not listen to the customer, they shove their policies at me, I was ignored, so whilst the manager said he gets few problems, I said that's just because people accept your changing conditions, for an out of town location, you need to be working with your customers. Don't you just hate poor customer service.

Thursday 24 January 2019


So here is my loom, 15" wide

 Heddle bars, in 2 sizes

It arrived on Wednesday, I was able to put it together quickly, I have watched so many you tube video's on this model. My first thoughts are much better than this loom, which was simply too basic, my daughter is playing with it to see if it's what she would use. I have a small table I can attach the loom to for weaving, I don't want to put it on out dining room table as we use it often. Once I am happy with my weaving and feel this is the right loom, I can buy a stand for it, which would make using and storing it better. The site sells a fabric bag for storage, but at £65 I know I can make one just as good much cheaper. I know I can't have a much bigger loom, I simply do not have the space for it, so my hope is this will fulfill my needs. I have seen looms using two heddle bars at once, this model does not have the attachment, but hopefully once I can workout what I need, hubby will make the two small brackets to hold them together.
I want to make a scarf, but for my 1st run I will use the yarn provided and make a sample, ensuring the edges are tidy, before threading the yard for a long scarf.
I am out for most of today (Thursday), so my plan is to spend time weaving Friday, and over the weekend, I would like to be confident by next weekend when my sister is visiting, I know she will want to play.
There are weaving classes for all levels, locally, but I am hoping I can manage without the extra expense, but it's good to know if I can't work my way to a level I want.
It's exciting, I have not done any real weaving since school, I am trying to stay realistic on what I can do, it's so easy to get carried away.

Wednesday 23 January 2019


Sunny skies

1st daffodil from a pot in the garden, 
the stem had broke so it's been rescued.  
So many bulbs coming through in the garden, all the snowdrops I planted 'in the green' survived and are growing, not too many, but they should spread over the years.
We are having a few sunny days here in Hampshire, we have had some rain, so the sunshine should help the garden, but it's very cold, hats, scarfs are in full use each time we go out. It's warm in the greenhouse, when I pop in to do jobs, I don't need to wear my coat, as yet I have not installed the heater, it's not necessary, but I expect it will be needed in Feb and March. We are having frost every morning, but it's not icy.
I have run out of navy wool for Will's jumper, I should have planned better, but he wear's alot of navy so I wanted the panel to be bigger. So I have ordered 2 more balls of navy, I will have enough of the mid blue and the green, with the navy to make a second jumper. I am going to cast on the second jumper whilst waiting for the wool to arrive.
Normal week here, Will played all day with us on Monday, he watched the builders next door, so we put Bob the Builder on TV for him, he loved it.
Tuesday, sign class, it was my turn to lead the class, my subject was families, at the moment it's not about learning more signs, it about what words to use and what to leave out, and the order of your sentence. Later I sat and read a book.
I have been informed my loom is on it's way, plus a book which will help me get started so I'm getting excited, the navy wool will be here before the weekend.
Next time I visit my eldest daughter, I want to pop to her local charity shop, which has a huge craft section and buy some cheap wool for practice on the loom.

Monday 21 January 2019

Will's jumper

The middle ball is for socks for my sister
This little jumper for Will, is such fun to knit, every part of it is knitted on circular or double pointed needles, the only sewing up is the ends of the threads. Mummy left me a jumper to match the size, I did make a few adjustments to the pattern, Will is tall and thin so age 2 was a bit snug and 3-4 was too big, so I used age 2 and added a few stitches to both the body and sleeves, and added rows to the length.  I am thinking I would like to knit one for myself, I already had some yarn, but added a few more balls to my last order. Which arrived today, I have promised myself I will stop purchasing yarn, I have enough for a few projects.
I have done more to my weaving, but the loom is far to basic and the texture is too open, it would be great for making wall hangings, which is not something I would want to do. My eldest daughter has expressed an interest in it, so she can practice and pay a reduced price if she wants it, if not I will sell online. Hubby has ordered me another loom from here, very different, but after watching loads of youtube, and talking to the company who sells it, this will give me the results I require, I have purchased a second heddle bar (the yarn passed through and it is lifted or dropped for the shuttle to pass through), this allows me to use 2 different weights of yarn. The company does courses, but as they are in Scotland and I'm in Hampshire, so a bit too far to travel, but they are very helpful over the phone. Needless to say I'm excited and can't wait for it to arrive. I am not adding this to my stash list, it would blow my budget even more than the huge spend I have had this month. I don't think I would have purchased it without my hubby's push, I think he is being clever, he has been looking at a new expensive lens for his camera.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Sunday catch-up

This is going to be the quickest knit ever.

 The markers show where the sleeve are, 
the yellow marker is the start of each row. 
  £2.50 per set, so very cheap
New author for me
I am totally in love with this knit down design, on circular needles, it a pure bliss to knit, easy to follow and because of the size quick to knit. The pattern has some garter stitch in, but I decided to ignore it and knit a plain jumper. Daughter loves the colours chosen, as do I, it helps when you are knitting with everything you are comfortable with. 
This set of 3 books I have on my ipad, they were a free download onto kindle, I have finished the 1st book, which wasn't too many pages. They are set just along the coast from where we live, so interesting to read.
We stayed in yesterday, preferring to keep Will inside, I have picked up the bugs going round, so I am happy to stay in the warm, with knitting and reading, I can keep myself busy. 
I used my new Vax floor steamer, which I use on my solid wood, ceramic and cushion floor surfaces, it's much lighter than the old one, but it uses the same toweling pads, I was pleased with the cleaning and it did not leave the floors too wet. Plus it only uses water, no chemicals and the pads are washed in the machine. 
Today hubby is cooking a brisket of beef in the slow cooker, we got the meat half price in the Co-op, but as we used the last of our vouchers, it cost us nothing. I also got the lights, I love these, once you turn them on, the stay on for 6 hours and then it come back on the next day at the same time, I use rechargeable batteries in these. I already have a few set around the house in dark corners, it's handy they sort them selves out. 

Saturday 19 January 2019

Matching pair

These are beautiful and matching
and finished
Loads of yarn left over

Another start, this is a jumper for Will, my 1st time with a knit down from the neck pattern.
I have ordered more wool, I think I am forming a wool habit, I was checking my wool stash and I have to admit, it's growing, lot's purchased online and sale prices, I have loads for socks, which I am loving to knit.
Can't wait to get my feet into the above socks, they look so colourful, it's a German yarn, which I have never used before, loads of yarn left over, I will add it to the leftovers for my granny square blanket. 
Now I am focusing on Will's jumper, I have never knitted a neck down design before and on circular needles, so no sewing together, in theory for me a perfect knit, I have four colours to use in wide stripes. 
Yesterday was a day at home, I did get my haircut, so I'm feeling good, I also spent loads of time finishing my socks, tonight I hope to have time for Will's jumper.
Will slept over last night, mummy and daddy had a night out with friends. We love having Will here, he is such a cute, good boy, and he is instantly forgiven for waking so early in the morning, his cot is still in our room, we not happy for him to sleep downstairs, whilst he is still young. We have found out all Bob the builder toys, Will is helping the builders next door.
My new steam floor cleaner arrived, I'm so glad to have this replacement, the floors come up so much better with steam, the old one lasted for years, so I hope this one will be as good. January is an expensive month, I am watching youtube video's for an expensive purchase.
Nothing much planned for today, knitting, a day at home, it's wet outside. 

Thursday 17 January 2019

In the garden

Only one of my Helebours have flowered this year, the second plant in the garden is looking weak. The plant I put into a huge pot last November is small and behind. 
 Still I have flowers on my geraniums, these grow in a chimney, so raised off the ground, the others planted in the ground don't have flowers on. 
 Yesterday Will came to play, last minute visit, he stayed whilst mummy went supermarket shopping. The rain stopped for a while, so we went out to play, The fake grass is great allowing all the rain to soak through and not be too wet. 
Will is almost 2, and looking so grown up.
 This is the view from our kitchen window, the extension went up this week, it looks tidy and should stay tidy looking. But it has cut out loads of light, it sunny here this morning, but you would not think so. This extension now makes the kitchen dark and that stops light filtering into our dining end of our living area, yesterday we had the dining light on all day.  We don't spend too much time in the kitchen, so the view does not bother us, but the loss of light will. 
I enjoyed time in the garden yesterday, it was good to get out, not much to do, I still have not cut back my summer plants in the side garden, some have flowers on, and loads have seed heads, I will leave them until the end of February, unless the bulbs push through.
I planted another Amayllis for the sitting room, I have not grown many this year, I replanted my bulbs to save money, but only one grew and only leaves.
I have finished knitting my socks, just need to finish the toes off, photo's next time.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Colour in a grey season

1st sock finished

First great customer service, back in 2014 I purchased a new tree in the January sale, half price from Christmas Tree World, even at half price it was still expensive. Last December when I put up our tree, the bottom plastic ring into which you slot the branches broke. Hubby spoke to them on the phone, after emailing them a photo of the broken bit , just a week ago, they promised they would help. Yesterday in the post arrived the replacement bottom section of the tree, all FOC, no bother, no stupid demands from them, just the replacement part to enable us to use the tree this year. Great service.
I have done loads of knitting on my socks, should really be doing a jumper for Will, but I am loving the colours from the yarn, Opal, glitter 4ply. I have just started the second sock, ensuring the colours match.
My daughter had her staples removed from her knee on Monday, I thought she was really brave, we had a coffee out, before heading back home for her to rest, we had fun knitting and chatting together. Will and mummy came to check she was OK.
Tuesday again sign class, we are now two groups, our group is leaning new things, whilst the other group is redoing the classes from last year. The lesson was fun and will become more conversational, everyone enjoyed this morning.
We have had some rain overnight, not much, we could do with more for the pots in the garden, it's still so very grey here. Yesterday I had words with the builders next door asking them to clear and clean the shared drive and to stop leaving dangerous tools outside when they go home, I'm glad I did otherwise the drive would be a sea of mud.

Monday 14 January 2019

Catching up

Daughter got me a coffee plant, she has one as well
  Can you see the bean/seed

I have said before it's a busy time here, nothing fantastic going on, I'm just spending more time out than at home.
Friday we popped to our local garden center, it's Will favorite place because it has a full size old tractor for the children to play on, he was the only child in the play area, so he had plenty of fun, hubby spent time with him. Youngest daughter and I took a tour through the final Christmas sale items, a few things dropped into my basket. I got 2 packs of 6 Tom Smith table crackers for less than half price, they still cost £10 per six, but I do hate a cheap cracker. I got two packs as the hope is our Spanish friends will have Christmas with us this year, if not they will last a couple of years. I also got a mistletoe reed room scent again less than half price. All have been packed in the attic with the decorations, so I can find them in December. the only plant I came home with was the coffee plant my daughter got me, I have looked on the inter net and know what it needs to live. Friday night I did some more sock knitting.
Saturday morning was spent cleaning, the floors are really dirty and loads of dust everywhere, the builders next door are creating both, but they only should be here for a couple more weeks. We have asked them to clean before they leave each night, they do have a habit of down tools and walk away.
We had a lazy afternoon, an ex work friend popped over, we went out for a meal to a local Thai restaurant, loads of chatter and catching up, she has moved back to her family in London. Shame she had to drive back to town the same evening, but the meal was great.
Sunday was another lazy day, after lunch I managed to do some knitting, I am loving these socks, but I really must start Will's jumper.. 
Today I'm with eldest daughter, she is having the clips removed from the wound on her knee, if we survive it we hope to have a coffee together before taking her home. 

Saturday 12 January 2019

Weaving tools

My 3 shuttles arrived on Monday, so I had time to wind yarn, for this first go I am using the left over 4ply from my ripple blanket. The shuttles feel very smooth to handle and it doesn't feel to large at all, it's 8' or 20cm long and holds a good amount of yarn. 
Very basic and large loom, chosen for me to be able to practice and perfect my weaving, before purchasing a loom for much thinner yarns and finer work.
I checked out on Youtube and saw how to string the loom for warp thread, really simple instructions. The bar which turns the warp threads fits easy into the threads, but each time I turn it I have to put each thread in the slot before weaving, which is irritating. 
 The shuttles with the wool on only fit tight through the warps, I do need to be careful not to pull the warps out of their groves, but I did not like the idea to use a needle and long threads. 
I have made my 1st colour change, it's simple to do, no knots, just a bit extra weaving. I am going to have to watch the edge as my work is pulling it in slightly. This loom is extendable, so after I threaded it I was able to extend the loom to ensure the warp was tight.  
I am loving this weaving, but it's all a bit bulky for me, my plan is to use a very thin cotton thread, and make fabric pieces with a design in. This is a really good fun, I will fill the whole loom and then see what I think of the item made.


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