Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 31 January 2020

January round-up

Another lowish spending month, I did get some more 4ply yarn for my knitted patchwork blanket, and spent £27.70 on yarn for knitting socks for Christmas gifts, I was not sure if I should add to this list as the yarn will become gifts. I got a couple things for the garden, I've not spent a penny on clothes and never visited the sales. I did get 1 Christmas item and a couple of special books. it's the cheapest spend in Jan for 3 years, so a good start.

I have not purchased any cut flowers this month, I do like to see colour in the house, January is such a dull month, I had intended to pop to a garden center to find a flowering plant, but I have resisted any spending. This is a huge saving for me, I normally only buy from supermarket, but they still have a huge cost when you purchase them so often.

We have been eating from the freezer and cupboard, most of the Christmas stuff has gone, we have packed away some biscuits and sweets.  So less plastic has been brought into the house, we do not use stretch and seal, we do have some left, but, we did not purchase any last year.

I have had a good sort out again in the kitchen, and I have taken loads of china, which we never use to the charity shop, youngest daughter had some of our table serving dishes, we regularly had dinners and parties, where we used the china, but it was just taking up space in our tiny kitchen. I also was very pleased to not find any out of date items in the food cupboard, which was sorted.

The house had a huge purchase this month, we replaced our gas boiler, when we moved in 10 years ago, we were informed the boiler whilst working was not a great make, so we started a service plan, to ensure we did not get any breakdowns, it worked well other than 1 part needed replacing most years. We had been warned that getting spares was becoming an issue. We have been following prices and now there are great deals to be had, so after getting great discounts and £200 credited against our gas bill, checking we were not overpaying for the new boiler, we had it changed, we also had to replace some pipes, which by today's standard were not big enough. With 12 months full warranty on whole heating system, we can save on the service agreement, saving £287.64. Our gas pipes into the house has been renewed, the whole street has been done, so I feel pretty pleased with our gas supply. Plus with our new windows and doors, our house is really snug and warm.

Thursday 30 January 2020


  My Knitting is going well, a simple pattern to follow, 
no scratching my head, trying to work out details,
 simple design which knits up quickly.
 Working in garter stitch for the yoke was quick and simple, 
the increase seam is so neat and tidy, 
For the contrast, I am using the Burrow & Soar hand dyed yarn, 
which I unpicked from this shawl. 
 This design shows the colours much better, and looks very pretty, the stripes in places blends with the main colour, but it's a soft look. I was going to use other plain shades but I think this works better. 
 Knitting so far
 Yarns being used. 
Its cold outside, not raining, but rain is due again and it's oh so cold, so loving knitting and reading sat inside in the warm.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Double trouble

Monday we had both boys for the day, mummy was busy sorting furniture in her house, it was a very different day, Will is a really good big brother and loves George. We both had wonderful cuddles from George, he is just beginning to smile. Will loved his first go on the racing track and was quick to understand it's better not to go too fast and crash. It was wet and cold all day so we did not go out at all. 
Mummy stayed for tea, but then took the boys home, it was very quiet here in the evening, but a really enjoyable day.
Tuesday I met the ladies from sign class for a coffee, again we went to one house, and enjoyed time chatting together. We are meeting again to sign a couple of songs, a display is required at the end of February in Fareham Library. Later was an afternoon and evening at home, I am doing well with my knitting, I will show you next time.
 My yarn arrived, I am so pleased with the cost of each ball, they were £3.50 each 50 grms, the 100grm balls cost me £7.99, so a saving, I went back to the site and found they had reduced each ball to £2.49. Not wanting to miss a bargain, I purchased 13 balls, and with a 15% discount for 1st order, I paid £27.07, making the cost of each ball £2.08, I got free shipping for an order over £25, pleased is an under statement. I will use the yarn with the yarn below, left over from other socks,  and make loads of striped pairs of socks for Christmas presents, I have has loads of request for my socks from family and friends.
This is the yarn, it is great to knit with and washes very well. This is not a sponsored post, just my views on what I feel is a good product. I know I should be buying British yarns, and I do, but this is just so good for socks. 

Monday 27 January 2020

New start

I have started knitting my top down cardigan, as shown in this post, I am very new to knitting top down, I have made a jumper for me, and 2 children's jumpers, I always like to make the body length longer and always the sleeves shorter, and on my jumper I found it much easier to do. 
Up close, garter stitch shoulders, the rest is stocking stitch. 
Not sure about this book, I did finish it, but I don't think I will seek another book by her.
Another new author for me, this being my 7th book this year, I am enjoying it so far, this week is fore caste for wet and windy weather, so perfect for afternoons reading or knitting. 
I have popped a few supports in for the Amaryllis, it is growing each day, the second bud was down in the hoops just a couple of days ago. 
Yet again it's a Monday morning, how quickly they arrive, and almost the end of January, which always feels a long month.
We had a busy few days, my sister Lena and her partner came on Friday, we had a quiet night in together, hubby made a wonderful curry, we were able to catch up on loads of news.
Saturday mummy and daddy brought Will and George over, so George got to meet his great aunt, we spent the morning together, we love chatter and laughter in our little home. Later I was able to start my knitting, my sister had her crochet blanket with her. Another lovely meal at home, this time with a glass of wine, it's just too yuck to go out anywhere.
Sunday we had a late english breakfast, and then my sister drove home, it rained most of the afternoon, so after sorting the spare bed and doing the laundry, we sat I knitted and hubby read, a quiet time after the busy few days. Later we watched a few catch up programmes on TV.
This morning I have both Will and George, hubby and daughter will pop to Ikea for a few things daughter needs, later daughter is here for tea, and a possible sleep over, she has not decided as yet, her hubby is away this week. The weather is wet, so no plans to take the boys out, photo's next time.

Saturday 25 January 2020

11 years in a flash

I felt very nostalgic after my last post regarding my blog, through my post I have alot of family history, I have never put anything when things have been really bad (does not happen very often), so it is my happy place, I started looking through old photo's. 
In this post I am looking back at my family. 
 Above is my baby photo, and early childhood photo with mum and dad, our 4 children together on a visit it Bristol Zoo and daughter Su looking so cute. 
 Mum and I, last photo before she became ill, I love this photo of hubby on the beach, he has not changed much, us looking small in a huge deck chair, and my beautiful grown up girls. 
 Brothers with their baby siblings, all happy to have another member of their families, taken in 2010, 2014 and 2018, plus the older boys on a day out to Fort Nelson, next to a huge shell, which they loved.
 Sam is just 3 months older than his cousin Logan, they loved to play together, sadly not often enough as they live 100 miles apart, and finally a daft play photo with me and Sam. 
Fun time out, the boys enjoying a meal with us, and a day at Marwell Zoo with a young Will, who loves, cars, trucks and tractors. 
I spent ages looking at old post on my blog, then I got my books out and browsed, it is so much fun to look back, having words with photo's, so many memories, fun times, family is everything to me. A perfect way to beat the blues in my head and the gloom outside. 

Friday 24 January 2020

Happiness is....

Firstly, I have warm toes, I have been wearing hand knitted socks for weeks, I love everything about them, they also look so good. I have had loads of comments from friends, I shall have to start another pair as I love knitting them as much as wearing them. 
 My book for 2018 arrived this week.
 Lovely to look back

 Even to read what I was doing 2 years ago, on this day.
I am completely pleased with my latest blog book for the year 2018, this being my 9th book where I have taken each post into print. My 1st book was for 2009 and 2010 together, all the rest are one for each year. I do often look at my books, I like to read back, our grandsons love to see their photos, and it's a great reference for my crafting.
I normally have the book printed in November, I make the book on my computer and when finished I upload to the printing site, but there was an issue and it would not upload, I had tried everything and had thought, that's it no more books. Hubby had a guy in to fix an issue with his computer and we turned mine on for him to check and I remembered this issue, it took the guy less than 5 minutes to sort it and free the book to be uploaded. For the past 9 years I have saved my name Poppypatchwork and password on my computer, but to log on the site separately I use my email address, it seams they must of changed the setup, I probably got an email, which I did not read, I did hang my head in shame.
I'm doing nothing at the moment, last weekend wore me out, all the worry for George, and my daughter, I have ate chocolate twice in the last few days. We had George for a couple hours on Tuesday, mummy had her hair done, she was going to cancel, but we wanted her to go, it was good for her and we loved having George to ourselves for the first time, he is again improving and eating better. Thank you for all your kind comments, bloggers are such wonderful people, we share so much together. I also find so much support from a facebook group for grandparents of DS children, it's sad to see sick children, but it's balanced by seeing so many DS children doing so well in their lives. There is alot of love in our world, under all the madness of modern life.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Finish and homecoming

I have finished this small blanket for a baby, the colours are more for a girl than a boy, so it is not for George, my daughter has a friend who has a baby girl and I will gift it to them. 

 I did not use all the yarn, it is already bigger than the blankets I made George and Will, this yarn will be added to my crochet square blanket I am making, this uses the thinner of the 4ply yarns, so the squares all come out a similar size.
 New book, new author for me, I enjoyed every word, could not put it down, I guessed the plot well before the end, but it did not matter, the ending was abrupt, but it allows you to finish their story. I will look out for more of her books. 
George came home yesterday, this photo was taken in the baby unit, after his treatment and looking so much better. Thank you for your kind comments, he is 2 months tomorrow and just so young to be having difficulties breathing, we know its a symptom of DS, but the doctors said he is a strong baby, we all worry about our children and grand children of all ages, but seeing a baby struggling for breath is heartbreaking. 
Yesterday was fun with Will, he is such a happy little boy, he spent some time looking out of our spare bedroom window watching the gas men fill the huge holes, our street is starting to look normal again, they have only done our side of the street, everyone is watching to see if they start digging up the other side.
Will spent time outside with hubby doing jobs in the garage and garden, he does love to spend time outside, he decided he would like pizza for lunch 'to warm him up', and had a long nap in the afternoon. He does no sleep every afternoon, but he was yawning when he came in, all the fresh air finished him off.
When he woke we drove to the hospital to collect mummy and George, our house is much closer the daughters house to our hospital, and I drove them all home, had a beautiful cuddle with George, I did not stay long grandma and grandpa were on their way for cuddles and checking to see if the lovely family were OK, they had been away for the weekend and I know grandma was desperate to see them.
Today we have George for a couple of hours, daughter has things to do and we all agreed it better he stays in the warm, Will is at nursery. So no plans, the heating is on and the house is warm, I hope to do some reading or knitting or maybe just cuddle a beautiful little boy.

Monday 20 January 2020

Not the best

My Hellebore's are in bloom, this one is planted in the ground, I did plant 2 others but they have not grown, more casualties of our heavy clay soil. 
 This is in a pot at the back of the garden, along with a grass my younger daughter gave me for a birthday gift a few years ago. 
 These is still colour in the garden, these pots are placed in between the large fruit pots, by the decking. 
I have not done much in the last few days, it's too yucky to go outside much in my garden, and I have nothing I can do, my greenhouse this time of year looks after it's self other than a bit of watering. Our streets are mucky from all the gas works, our pavements are full of holes.
Friday I spent the day at home, without gas as they renewed the pipes, and they required access to our gas meter in the day, which is in our kitchen, our house has been completed, but it all took much longer than expected, the gasmen had problems with neighbours in the street, I don't understand why people think it's OK to be rude to workmen, who in this case are safeguarding our gas. Daughter came over to keep me company with Will and baby George, who is not too well, we put a stool by the window and opened the blinds so Will could watch the men in the holes, it was a lovely time chatting together.
Saturday we walked to the library, I gave up reading, Blood and Honey by Graham Hurley, I managed 200+ pages, it was interesting to know the locations in the book, the plot had 2 stories and the private lives of 2 police officers, but it was slow and I struggled from the start, so now I have 3 more books to read.
Saturday evening we had an evening with some neighbours, but sadly we left early after a call from daughter, George had been taken to our local good hospital with breathing difficulties, he was given oxygen for 2 days which helped him to breath and kept his heart rate down. I spent most of Sunday with daughter in the baby unit, George looks so tiny in the bed, it has been very worrying time, we hope he will come home today. In the past 2 months George has stolen our hearts, as did his older brother Will and all our grandsons, I'm finding being at home waiting for better news hard going,

Thursday 16 January 2020

Planning a new projects.

Our village is going to have a poppy display this year, on our local facebook page an appeal was posted asking for ladies to make poppies, so I collected the pattern, purchased some cheap yarn, and now I need to knit. 
 I think I have found the knitting pattern  to use with this yarn, it's 4ply, I have 400 grms of baby merino, and 100 grms of the hand dyed. It's knitted top down, which I love, if I should run out of yarn I can get more, the site still has the lighter green with same dye lot and have 47 balls, so I should not have any problems.  
The design, I will make my colour bands much bigger, and I have a plan for the sleeves to be a bit different, maybe use some blocks of contrast colours. 
 This collage of 4 show other knitters choice of colours, 
these images were taken from the pattern site. 
I am really glad I found a design I like, I am enjoying knitting the squares, but being so small, I feel all I am doing is casting on. I have made a couple jumpers knitted neck down one with stripes and I really enjoyed making it, the stripes on the sleeves worked with ease. I can't sit and do nothing, watching TV on dull days is just not an option, I do like reading, but I'm struggling with my latest book. Last year I was making the huge ripple blanket for our spare bed, a perfect project as it was colourful and warm whilst making it. 
We have not done much, the boiler fitter was in our kitchen for 2 days, but now it's finished we are very pleased and the house is much warmer. 
Monday we had Will, who was very interested in the man working in the kitchen, I had to keep taking him to see the progress being made, we walked to the village for lunch, Will does love to see the ladies at Darcy's, he took his doctors items and was helping a lady there to feel better, real fun, everyone loves a happy toddler. Later mummy came to pick him up with George, so we had loads of cuddles with him, he was wake, his eyes following the noises and light, he is gaining weight, but still a small boy. 
Tuesday we finally got our kitchen back, I spent the afternoon cleaning and putting things back, it was not too grubby, the guy was a clean worker. I also went out in the morning for coffee with the sign ladies, we still like to meet and chat, it was at my neighbours house so I did not get wet. 
Wednesday was a day at home, I sorted some sewing, daughter has purchased a king size quilt which she wants me to cut down to 2 cot quilts. Later we walked to the village, our streets are very messy, the gas men are digging huge holes in the pavements, they try and be clean, but with all the rain it's hard for them. 
Tuesday into Wednesday was the most rain we have seen for years, it was non stop for hours and very windy. The weather caused no problems in our garden, the broken fence panels are blown towards the neighbours garden, and her overgrown plants keep them upright, 

Monday 13 January 2020

just so gloomy

In between the rain drops, our view has changed, now we can see the huge building our neighbours have built, it is not an issue, at a glance it looks like a high fence, in the summer the plants on the back fence will hide most of it. I am pleased it is wooden, bricks would not have the soft natural finish. 
 This is the only colour inside, these are all silk and many years old, in an older jug from hubby's family, I look at these rather than out the kitchen window. 
 My amaryllis is doing well, I am pleased to see a second bud, I now only purchase these from garden centres, I pay more, but the plant is stronger, having said that I have not as yet got a bulb to bloom a second time, any tips?
 A friend suggested I try this author, he writes crime novels all set locally, just outside of Portsmouth, I am happy to try any new author.
 I am keeping a food diary, something I have never done, I am rather pleased as it does read well, so far I have just stopped snacking and eating less, we both eat healthy and cook from scratch, but I have lost a few pounds. 
I'm feeling a bit blue, but it's to be expected as it's so dull outside, everywhere is just so grey, but I say this most January's, going out is an effort, having to get so many outer clothes, just to stay warm and dry.
Friday, I did some sorting in the office, it was a sunny for a couple of hours in the morning and the office was bright, I sorted my bottom craft drawer, and got rid of more magazines and cross stitch books, I now have spare space, later I read and watched some TV.
Saturday we did walk to the village, but the rest of the day was inside, we had to clear one half of our kitchen, moving everything from our tall food cupboard, and the counters, later I read whilst hubby watched TV.
Yesterday, we finished emptying the kitchen, we are having our new gas boiler fitter this morning, plus a pipe renewed, which has caused us to clear out so much giving space for the engineer. We did manage a small walk before the rain started, afternoon we were both inside we are both book worms, so time passes quickly, and we are very comfortable together.
Will is due today, I think I will take him out to lunch, he does like to walk to Darcy's, I don't expect to be able to get into our kitchen until later.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Normal life continues

I saw this lovely wooden box, half price at £7.50,
to beautiful to be left in the shop. 
 I had wanted to purchase this book before Christmas, but it was also on my wish list, it is a beautiful book, it was reduced, so glad I waited.
I have finished Lies,lies,lies by Adele Parks, as expected it was a brilliant book, she always delivers a good plot, this is my 2nd book this year.
The Sting, Kimberley Chamber is a new author to me, I've read over half and it's gripping, not a story line I would normally read.  
 I have popped some more lemon grass in water, purchased from a supermarket, I have some already in a pot, but it's not full enough, I want a pot near the outside dining table this summer to ward off flies and smells from next door. 
 My coffee plants which were purchased in a coffee cup last year are doing well, I love the deep shade of green on the leaves, I hope soon to have some flowers, but I can't see me getting coffee beans. I have another lot in the coffee cup and can't decide if I should pot them up outside and see if they survive. 
 Christmas cake is shrinking, both hubby and I agree it was the most moist cake I have made, the only difference this year, when I baked my cake I used a cake tin cuff, soaked in water to stop the side from burning. 
So the 1st full week of January is over, we have not done anything exciting, we popped to Asda for a few things, had a list and avoided all the Christmas stuff.  We also popped into town on Thursday, got a bargain on some new water glasses, selling at 50p each, we got 8. I also got the wooden Christmas box, I did look at loads of reduced Christmas stuff, but most I could do without. Hubby looked at clothes but decided there was nothing he liked, I did not even look, I am hoping to keep my clothes spend low again this year, hopefully I will lose my weight and use the pile of tight clothes I already own.
I attended the 1st diabetes meeting, which I found very interesting, the guy showed us how and why we had issues, this class was all about understanding what is happening to our bodies, the class is every 3 weeks. I have been really good this week, no snacks, keeping to the meal plans and cutting back how much I eat, on Tuesday and Thursday I am eating breakfast much later and not eating a lunch, dinner is at 5pm, hubby is matching me, and it's working for us. I have walked a couple of times as well, so a positive start.
I spent most time reading and knitting squares, I would like to knit something bigger, but I can't find a pattern I like, I really do not need another shawl, I have been looking at cardigans. Nothibg doing in the garden, too wet to work outside, I do pop to my greenhouse a couple times a week.
Friday the sign ladies met for coffee, but I was unable to make it, I waited in for a new boiler to be delivered, it will be fitted on Monday.
Our street is a bit of a mess at this time, our local water company is digging holes further down the street and British gas is replacing every ones ageing pipes, so they too have holes everywhere.


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