Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Where to begin...

Hi folks,

A lot has happened since my last post. So I want to fill you all in on some of it.

My health took another nosedive unfortunately and the various medications I'm on aren't working the way they're supposed to, which sucks. My consultant won't actually do any more tests and I've been told to get help somewhere else basically. So a lovely friend has put me in touch with a Gastroenterologist in Canada to see if he can shed some light on why I'm so sick all the time. Fingers crossed, although by the time my file reaches him it will be the end of January.
In an effort to help myself I've decided, with the full support of my dietician, to try the FODMAP diet. Google it folks, my brain understands it is to do with the level of fructons, fructose and poly-ols entering my larges intestine which causes havoc. If it works then great stuff, however, I need to be able to eat more than 300grams in a day for this to be a realistic approach. My weight has dropped again and my calorie intake is worse again because my symptoms got worse. Because we don't know what's wrong we can't do anything about it and so the viscious cycle begins again. AHH!!!

So during this dreadful time my Christmas knitting list has shrunk. Not through finishing items though. I've had to turn around to myself and basically accept that I can't knit as much or as fast as before. Therefore, of the 7 items remaining, I finished one pair of mittens and have decided to just try to finish my daughters gifts. Kims Noro jumper has only about 12 rows left on the back before I start the front ( I know, never getting that knitted in a week, this I accept ). Keira's waterfall sleeveless lacey cardigan is actually growing quite nicely, I worked on it monogomously today and got another eight inches done.
Thing is, I haven't knit Dave anything, (my hubby) yet I've knit one male friend a hat and another male friend a hat and matching fingerless mitts.
 Cringe for the guilt. I wanted to knit him some fingerless mittens to match his zauberball hat, I just haven't cast them on yet. The shame. I'll cast them on after Christmas, then there's no pressure of a finishing date and this is England. We pretty much have chilly weather for six months of the year, we haven't hit the coldest part yet either.

Anyway, I've been catching up on all my podcasts, audiobooks, films, tv episodes etc recently. I've really hidden in the sand for a while I'll admit. Podcasts that have really cheered me up have been the Thanksgiving episode of the 2 Knit Lit Chicks (iTunes) and The Knit Girllls video podcast, both of these podcasts had me laugh out loud which felt good.
I've been geeking it up and watching the marvel films in order of timeline setting, so starting with Captain America up to The Avengers Assemble, so much fun !!!
I've finally caught up with the end of season 3 of Downton Abbey, no spoilers escaping from me though. Just that it doesn't disappoint. Can't wait for the Christmas special, yey.
Audiobooks, well, I'm listening to The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. Dave bought me the hardback for Christmas last year, but I just haven't been able to find a way to keep it propped open to read. Hence the audio instead, plus I have got another eight audiobooks to listen to too. All good though.

Yummy yarn time. Today I signed up for the first years quarter of the fivemoons Artemis Sock Club. So very excited as it's my favourite sparkly yarn, I'd knit everything in it if I could afford to. I'll post photos of each instalment, I plan on hopefully doing the full year.

Next time, Beads, Anne Rice, Sewing and my knitting wish list for next year.

Just a note to say, Happy 10th Birthday tomorrow to my Kimberly, Love you sweety xxx
I'm proud to call you my daughter.
Bye for now folks, Christmas Eve??

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Gently Drizzling...

Sunday 2nd December 2012

I've been a very busy knitter these last few weeks. I finished and shipped my Holiday Swap package. Great fun KAL, you knit gifts and include a few goodies for a swap buddy and make friends in the process. I made mug hugs and a large coaster / pot holder for a family and included typically British biscuits and tea etc.
I knit a few Christmas cards for people, I've also made another Christmasy toy. A snowman.
My Christmas knitted gift list is shrinking gradually. I finished another two hats, restarted Kimberly's jumper because I would have run out of yarn. So she's having a shorter jumper with wave border around the bottom. Still using the Noro yarn though. She's worth it and look after her clothes so i know both her sisters in turn will get to wear it in the future too. I only have 7 of the 23 gift knits left. So today I'm working on my nieces mittens. They're the Urban Necessity pair on Ravelry. I'm halfway though the Debbie Bliss ones I'm making for my other niece.

I also decided I didn't like the bolero I was knitting for Keira, So I'm making her a lacey waterfall cardigan instead. I feel much happier with both of those projects now, I just hope I'll get them finished in time for Christmas.
I've been working on an old pair of spiral tube socks on and off too. Mostly off though ha ha.
I'm knitting a test shawl at the moment. The cast on stitch count is a lot...... crazy stitch count but it'll be beautiful, I'm using bluebell coloured yarn and blue iridescent beads. Stunning. When i'm allowed to post the shawl I will I promise.
The Leftie shawl I was making for a friend for her present is very slow going because I'm daft enough to have decided it would be fun to knit the whole thing in lace weight and add beads to the tabs. Not a mistake I plan on again, it is beautiful though. Scarlet Cashmere with wine red merino. Lovely.
I was working on a second shawl for the 2 Knit Lit Chicks KAL. However, it was starting to become less fun and more of a ticking bomb. I've just rolled it up on the needles, put it into the project bag and zipped it closed. After all my gift knitting it will be fun to finish.
I bought several new knitting books from Amazon this week. All ones I've been waiting for. I've done the whole going through and marking down what I want to knit. About 3 years worth of knitting then ha ha. Never mind. Although, one of the books was 'Knitting In Circles' by Nicky Epstein. I'm in love with this book. My plan is to knit my way through the circles and join them up to make blankets, pillows, garments etc. I love the variety in the book.
I've joined another group on Ravely, It's 12 in 2013. Basically you chose 12 patterns to knit next year, they can be whatever you like, and you knit them. Then post a photo of the finished piece on the thread. I have so many projects I keep putting off because something else jumps in front. So I have 15 on my list. I know too many, however, I feel I'll be more likely to succeed if I allow myself an option as I work from 1 to 12.
I'm feeling very lucky and spoilt today though. My husband bought and gave me an early Christmas gift. Behold, the Addi Art needles. They are filled with Swarovski crystals. Can actually be knitted with and have been a wish of mine since I first read about them a few months ago on an Australian Web Site.
They're beautiful.
Apparently they're doing a collection of different sizes so I'd better start saving hey!!!
Lastly I'll leave you to knit in a festive mood by showing you how I painted my nails to keep my Christmas cheer up.
Take care everyone, Elspeth x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gaelyn in training

Elspeth Campbell (@ElspethC81) tweeted at 11:43 PM on Sun, Nov 25, 2012: Teaching my kitten to sit on my lap while I knit equals happiness http://t.co/RC8b9a5V (https://twitter.com/ElspethC81/status/272847899744948224) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Over in the United States people arr celebrating thanksgiving today and talking about what their grateful for.
I have friends that are Americans and I'm truly thankful for their friendship and how much support I receive via the web. However, today I inherited my mums prayer/healing shawl that her friend made during her battle with cancer. She's been up in heaven since 21st Feb 2011. Its lovely but upsetting at the same time you know.
I have been busy knitting a lot since my last post. Today though I completed an owl hat for some friends by request as they've discovered they're having a baby boy on 3rd April.
So I'm posting today from my android phone because my computer died.
Sorry if there are no photos. Ok so health update. I'm now on a reintroducing of foods plan for 12 weeks. No Christmas dinner this year for me. But my dad and his wife and a good friend are visiting Christmas day. Which will be lovely for all of us.
Today we have a storm that won't ease. Nothing as bad as Sandy, but furniture is being thrown about the garden and it's nearly impossible to move around outside.
We've nearly finished our Christmas shopping as I hate being rushed closer to the big day. Come Christmas day I'll be sat knitting myself a Christmas hat.
Other stuff. Please could folks knit a 12" square for hurricane sandy victims. They're bring made into blankets and given to the people who need them directly.
If you feel able to participate please send squares to: squares for comfort, p o box 909, Melville. Ny 11747. US. If you're on ravelry then knitting Brooklyn had a thread with more details. Just keep sending them in. So grateful.
Pictures I hope.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Hi all,
I'm just posting my latest little pattern called Snuggly.
It's a very simple cowl, knit in chunky yarn.


Yarn: 1x100g skein of La Boheme Starburst in Madrid 165 yds/ approx 150m
6mm x 40cm circular or long dpns,
1 Stitch marker,
Darning needle.

With 6mm 40cm circular needle or 6mm dpns cast on 90 stitches.
Join in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.
Place marker at beginning of the round.

Row 1: Purl
Rows 2-6: Knit,

Repeat rows 1 - 6 ten times in total.
Purl 1 row.
Cast off knit wise.
Sew in the ends with the darning needle.

I literally had 1.5m//2yds left of yarn.
I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this cowl as much as I do.
Happy knitting Folks
Elspeth x

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Catch up with me.....10th November '12

Hi all,
I'm sat in my kitchen / (stolen zone for knitting) wearing my 50 Shades of Teal shawl I completed for the 2 Knit Lit Chicks KAL. Fun!! I love it, as does Brenda Castiel the designer.
Between the stars is a massive rant so skip if you like.

So, it's been very crazy for me over the last three weeks, in and out of hospital and various other things getting in lifes way. My hospital results were mostly good. I say mostly because other than a slow bowl and a partially collapsed left lung, they don't know what's wrong.
My consultant has asked me to do a 'final test'. A barium meal so they can watch how quickly my stomach empties. When I saw him last monday I was devastated. He couldn't give me any answers to why I'm this ill. He wants to admit me for tube feeding directly into my small intestine to bypass the stomach so it won't get rejected. Alongside that he wants me to have a fluid and nutrient IV. Then after a couple of weeks when i've gained weight he'll let me continue the tube feeds at home. On paper that's great and initially I gave in and agreed because my husband and dad were in the room with me. However, being 100% honest, I'd rather jump off a bridge. There's no way in hell am I comfortable with the idea. Several reasons, 1, I can feed myself because I'm not in a coma.....2, I don't trust what they'll be 'Fattening' me up with.......3, There's no guarantee it will work and not get rejected....4,If at any point I refuse treatment or ask to leave I'll get struck off the list and refused further help if I need it. ( I have that in writing) 5, Do my kids really want to see me like that??? 6, They don't know why it happened and what's to say as soon as the tubes get taken out I'm not better. The hope is that I'll gain enough weight so my system reboots. I asked if I would be well by Christmas and was told no. Nor could he give me an estimate of when if at all i would recover. They expect me to just let them feed me like a turkey and be happy losing my last piece of dignity in life. Um NO.....
I'm so miserable and fed up of being told what to do and nothing actually being done. The whole time I've been ill I haven't actually had any treatment apart from one vitamin drip and a litre of fluid back in february of this year. I'm so messed up in every  way you can imagine.
I need more knitting hours even though I do nothing except knit these days.
So on to knitting...
Currently I'm working on:
*Hurricane sandy afghan square,
*Kims Noro Jumper,
*Golden Xale (shawl)
* A snowman
*Opal painting (shawl)
*Golden Happyness (shawl)
*Snuggles (cowl)
*Janes Love (shawl)
* Knitting Brooklyn holiday swap,
*Keiras Shrug,
*Kims Socks,
*Sweetdreams (shawl)
*Ruby Minimissi (cable coat)
*Preggers (lacey maternity top for a friend)
*Chinook (shawl)

There are more projects on the needles but those are my priority ones this month.

Keiras Hat,

Pearly Penguin,

Mrs Christmas mouse,

50 Shades of Teal by Brenda Castiel,

Alexis the Fairy,

Pale Peacock. I'll add this photo next time.
I'll also have more photos of my wips. Especially the snuggly which i plan on finishing this weekend and Kims Noro Jumper which i want to try and get some reasonable amount knit on.

I have been reading a lot too, having read 'The Hunger Games Trilogy' since my last blog. Great books, I struggled to put them down, so it's a good thing I was reading them on my Kindle else no knitting would have gotten done ha ha.
I've also been reading lots of Debbie Macomber Books too. Yes simultaneously. They are: Angels at Christmas, Angels at the Table, The First Man You Meet, & A Merry Little Christmas.
I'm now reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I'm about a tenth in and it's good so far. I'm also reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Both were recommended to me by 2 Knit Lit Chick Forum members and I'm not regretting buying either of them. Thanks Barb and KnitsnPurls.
I've also got more Audible books to talk about but that can wait until my next post.
I'll update you on my Christmas knitting and lots of other fun stuff happening at the moment too.
Take care for now everyone and keep knitting
Elly xxx

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Good & Bad 18/10/12

Hi folks,
It has definitely been a time of knitting hats..
Ok so a lot has been happening and yet at the same time nothing has changed. I've got a lot of knitting done and have cast on a few more Christmas projects too. My Ravelry project age makes me look like I have a really bad case of startitus. I promise if it's in progress I am actually knitting it in rotation with everything else.
I've finished another chemo cap,

 this time I aimed at toddler or young child. It's made with organic cotton just in case and I put ballerinas on it. I'll post the pattern on here over the weekend.

I also finished Daves latest hat.

Very warm, I used Katia Azteca in the blue brown colourway. I can't remember it having a colour name. He loves it anyway, so that's four since may. I already have his next one planned using Stylecraft chunky in gray so he can wear it to the garden and it can just get thrown in the wash with whatever else he's gotten muddy or dirty.

I finished my middle daughter Keiras silk merino lacey hat.

 The yarn is just beautiful. There's so much left I can make myself something small with it too. I adjusted the pattern because she has a small head and I wanted her to enjoy wearing it without thinking it was going to slip off. I doubled up on the decreases and cut out a few of the plain rows. Ironically my youngest daughter Niamh is modelling it and she has a larger head than Keira. She promised not to tell Keira though and after a week she hasn't said a peep.

My two knit lit chicks shawl kal 50 Shades of Teal, is now just over halfway. I'm a few rows into the tulip section and I'm really enjoying how it looks, however it isn't going to be as big as I thought. Still beautiful though.
I currently have another three shawls on the needles too. There is Chinook, which I'm making in a silvery viscose cotton blend, very pretty. Look a bit like ladies chainmail in a good way. Sweet Dreams which I'm making using  some Old Piggery yarn, cashmere merino blend in a semi solid or slightly varieagated green mix. & Leftie, which is actually a Christmas present for my friend. I'm using scarlet 3 ply 100% cashmere with 2 ply lace weight 100% merino and I've been adding beads onto the leaves to make it extra special. I'll post pictures when they're complete.

Excited because i managed to purchase a Jade Starmore book. A Collector's Item. I fell in love with some of the designs on Ravelry that other people have made from the book so I took the plunge. I managed to track down a copy and after paying a rather largish sum for it, it is on it's way to me. The second book I'm mega excited about getting it Inspired Fair Isle by Fiona Ellis. She just has such a talent that I struggle not to cast on the majority. Obviously I don't need a yoga mat cover because although I have a yoga mat, I got it purely for stretching when i was pregnant and haven't used it since. I currently have thre of her designs on the needle though. I plan on doing more on that another time though.
I have many many projects on the go, far too many for today, I'll just fill you in as I complete stuff, how about that? Or would you like progress photos?

The bad news is my health has deteriorated again, I'm basically on a diet of tea and crumpets. I only managed three crumpets today and five half teas. I get my energy powder from my gp in the morning to add the calories. I just have to keep going. It's so hard though. I'm either starving or so sick I can't even sip water. There's no in between. My medication is not really working anymor eand the side effects are starting to build up. My Oedema in my legs and feet is getting worse and I had an ulcer which needed anti-biotics. The mass in my abdomen is now making me look about 15 weeks pregnant, mostly on the right side, but it's putting a lot of pressure on all my organs. I have my neck through pelvis CT being done on 31st October. We're expecting bad news but trying not to think about it too much. Especially with three young children. So next full blog I should have news. Wish me luck.
Two bits of good news to end on. First, most of my chillblaines on my fingers have gone so flexibilty in my fingers is improving again. Secondly, Keira was able to go and watch Swan Lake at the weekend. Birmingham Royal Ballet. She is now more determined that ever to go pro at ballet. Go Keira xxxx
Bye for now  Elspeth x

Friday, 5 October 2012

Material Girl.....

Hi all, It's Friday 5th October 2012.

This last week has been delighful and dreadful on equal measures.
Dreadful because my various ailments are becoming very severe again and I'm starting to wonder how much longer before i'm admitted back into hospital. I'm still waiting for a full CT. Just the idea fills me with dread because all they can do is keep checking my obs. I can't eat in hospital as I have too many allergies for them to cope with. ( seriously who gives someone allergic to dairy a yoghurt?)

Delighful came through the post in many deliveries.
My Desert Vista Dyeworks Yarn arrived for the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Gradiant shawl KAL. The pattern is called 50 Shades of Teal, by Brenda Castiel, I'm taking part in. So I started that yesterday.

My Kindle touch arrived too, very nice it is indeed, I'll never stop buying books but it's nice to be able to read while I knit, it also plays my audible books too which is great.

Also a book i've been waiting to buy for a while came into stock, 'Knits from a Painter's Palette'.
It has some of the most beautiful coloured Koigu Yarn. There is one particular coat but it calls for 41 Skeins and at approximately £10 a skein that means saving and buying a couple at a time.

Lastly my fivemoons yarn was delivered, 6 skeins too. My absolute favourite is this one.. Camel and silk.

I realised I've knit four shawls this year,without it actually registering and only one of them was for me, so I plan on making lots more. My husband thinks their beautiful too and so i'll be knitting them to be both worn and for a while displayed pinned to the walls around our home as pieces of art. Amazing hey, surrounded by beauty i'll have knitted.

So knitting I'm doing at the moment. I'm still working on Keiras Pink hat for Christmas, I'm on my second chemo cap, this one i've designed with ballerinas on though as i'm sure there's a ballet loving little girl who needs cheering up. Daves hat kind of got put down part way through the decreases. I will pick it up again in a few days. Kims Elwing jumper is now about 50 rows in, for her Birthday, (6 days before Christmas)
I did finish Niamhs socks see.

For myself I'm doing the shawl kal, another shawl called Chinook, some Endpaper mitts (fingerless gloves) and a hat i've designed to match in Norweigan Blue by fivemoons and a lovely Juno Buffy yarn in a sort of silver grey. All beautiful projects. All the projsects I have named can be found on www.ravelry.com
I actually organised my fivemoons stash before i bought some more and nominated it all to a future project, very pleased with myself too.

I have to share a very cute moment from tuesday with you all. My little owl mp3 speaker got delivered, and I plugged it in to make sure it wasn't damaged in transit and starting listening to a podcast. Well my youngest daughter Niamh, being three, came outside to see it and I asked if she liked it. She said " Yes mummy, your talker is cute." Bless her.
Next week I'll post one of the mermaid patterns i've been working on.x
Take care everyone and keep knitting, Elspeth.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My Cheery Robins Hat

Sunday 30th September 2012
Cheery Robins is a chemo hat I designed for Hats for Halos, which I heard about via Knitting Brooklyn podcast and Commuter Knitter podcast.
Please feel free to knit it too for children who are ill or just need cheering up with the Robins.

Cheery Robins

For ages 3 - 8 years approx,

50g worsted / aran yarn in red (if you knit loosely you made need slighlty more, i used all but 2m)
20g worsted / aran yarn in white
4.5mm 16" / 40cm circular needle,
4.5mm double point needles,
tapestry needle,
stitch markers.


Cast on 88 stitches with Red and join in the round, check you don't twist stitches.
Work 6 rows in K2, P2 rib
(continue in stocking stitch)

Change to Cream yarn and work chart. 8 reps around,using Red for Robin shape.
Each repeat is 11sts wide x 9sts high
carry colour not in use loosely across back.

Once last row of chat has been worked, change back to Red yarn.
Work 23 rounds (15cm total length from cast on edge)


*K9, K2tog, repeat from * to end
Knit a round
*K8, K2tog, repeat from * to end
Knit a round
*K7, K2tog, repeat from * to end
Knit a round
*K6, K2tog, repeat from * to end
Knit a round
*K5, K2tog, repeat from* to end
Knit a round
*K4, K2tog, repeat from* to end
Knit a round
*K3, K2tog, repeat from* to end
*K2, K2tog, repeat from* to end
*K1, K2tog, repeat from* to end
*K2tog, repeat from * to end

Cut long tail, Thread yarn through remaining stitches and fasten off securely.

Present to a child in need of affection. Enjoy

Friday, 28 September 2012

Knit crazy

Today is Friday 28/9/12 and I have Bachs Concerto for Harpsichord and String in F Minor playing while I type.
I have a lot to say today.
First the podcasts I listen to are called Knitting Brooklyn, 2 Knit Lit Chicks,  and Robinznest.
Knitting Brooklyn is by a lady called Jessica, she's just great, I'm taking part in her festive swap, basically you knit, crochet, sew etc something your swap buddy would like to receive as a gift in the holiday season. Nothing specific other than say coasters as a description. Then you send it off with a little goody to your swap buddy. I think it's a lovely idea.
2 Knit Lit Chicks last episode was good too, although i tried to get into crime novels when i was a teen and just not my cup of tea, give me romance (clean) or historical drama any day. I am taking part in their shawl KAL. My yarn for it however was still in Phoenix, AZ this morning when i tracked it. I'll just have to catch up i guess. Oh well, gives me time to knit a hat or two for Hats for Halo. They need people to knit hats for people going through chemo. As although i'm not going through Chemo, my hairloss is approx 60% now. I daren't not wear a hat. Undiagnosed reasons.
Robinznest hasn't podcast again yet, :-(

My health is still deteriorating, I must admit i'm finding it harder to cope each day, I am gradually being shut out by my family. It's not intentional on their part obviously, but when you can't play, eat, bath and smile with your family as expected it kinda happens. It's just as hard for them my being ill all the time. I used to be healthy and fun and loved being a mummy. After my youngest was born in 2009 my health started struggling. M.E, Fibromyalgia, CFS, IBS, Nausea, Chronic constipation, food allergies, Asthma, Renaulds disease, Oedema and then last Christmas day i almost passed out. I had a blocked intestine. I dramatically lost weight over two weeks asI was so ill. 2 stone / 28lbs / 11kgs. Over the last six months i have managed to gain around 5kg, but I'm still tiny and feel very frail. I only weigh 44 Kg now. My chill blains are excruciating at the moment, at last count i have 27 on my hands alone. The latest is my consultant wants to put me out and introduce a dye directly into my small intestine, bring me round, then wait a few hours and do a CT. Let's pray it shows up what's wrong.

Happy Place Time, Knitting Projects
 I invested in some Addi Click Lace needles. I Love them. I used them for a shawl and you'd think the join would snag the yarn but nope, smooth as satin.
Niamhs mittens are done now, I did the cuffs a different colour to the main body.

Janes Shawl is the Mini Mochi Shawlette on Ravelry, I finished the edging on that this morning. I really like how it looks.

Baby 4 x 4 Sweater is another pattern from Ravelry. You basically knit lots of squares diagonally and sewthem up to make a sweater. Very cute!

Daves Hat is now on the decreases so i'll take a photo when it's finished.

Niamhs socks are now 75% done, just the foot left of one, so a few hours left but close.

Niamhs Fairy is now finished, I have to stitch all the pieces together and stuff her but as it's for Christmas I have a while yet.

Preggers  is the top I've started for my friend for Christmas, From my pet name for it you can tell it's a maternity top. Except I've added beading to it as she love them. This top when finished is suitable for maternity and afterwards. The beading will help it hang nicely.

Baby Booties are also being knitted as i have two pregnant friends.

Keiras Lacey Hat  is about a third done too now. It's so pretty!!! I can't wait to finish it and post a photo. It goes through various pale shades of pink and purple.

Finally Mermaid Tail is a pattern i wrote. I admit i was asking for grief when i was knitting it up. I chose to work with 1.25mm double point needles and crochet thread. It's for a popular doll every little girly girl has heard of. I've also designed one to be worn as an apron style for young girls. Both patterns will be written out on my next blog.

I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend and does something fun or creative. I will be knitting away in my garden under my gazebo as usual eating cake and crumpets.
Take care Elspeth

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Affirmation that I'm a knitter !!!

So today is thursday 20th September 2012 and it's our 10th wedding anniversary, yey us!!!

My darling Dave ordered me some Signature needles, size 4mm, twist end, stilleto tip. However, Signature are re doing the 4mm needles across their range so they were delayed and didn't arrive in time for today. Disapointed but still very excited that he knows quality stuff.
My ChiaoGoo Blue flower set did come today however. They're so pretty, see...

I've been good and not bought these until now but i couldn't resist any longer. The set has 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5.5mm & 6mm 23cm single pointed needles. Great for all the smaller projects i want to do. Or the projects in a solid colour so i'll constantly get flashes of blue flowers showing through as if to say hello and make me smile.

The 18th was my mother in laws birthday, and as she is a Harry Potter fan, I decided to make her the Mandrake from the film. She loved it and it's sat in a plant pot by her fireplace. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mandrake-plant

I also got another new knitting pattern book through today, it's called 'Fairy Tale Knits' by Alison Stewart-Guinee. I love this book to pieces. All the patterns in it are very cute and i'm going to struggle not to want to knit all the girls items for my two younger daughters. I did promise Niamh my youngest that i'd knit her the 'Snow Queen' coat. So i shall, she's 3.5years old so i have a while to keep my promise before she's too big for it.

I'm getting into knitting shawls at the moment too, a friend of ours is rather ill so i made her a healing/prayer shawl in her favourite colours and it's inspired me to make more, so i made another one for another friend who's also very ill and she loved it. the second one took just under two weeks around other projects and was a suprise for her. I won't name names but she really liked it. As do I.
Ok so, I've started listening to Podcasts again recently.
2 Knit Lit Chicks, this is just brilliant, they are a mother and daughter who talk about Knit alongs, their current knitting projects, charity projects, books they're reading or listening to and other interesting stuff not always related to knitting either. I love it as it's great to see what they're doing on Ravelry and sample the books on audible. Barb and Tracie are brilliant. I'm doing their gradiant colour shawl KAL. More on that next time.
Knitting Brooklyn, this lady is so good to listen to. Not just because what she talks about is fascinating, like sheep breeding for different fibre types and what she's working on, but her voice is so soothing that on days like today when my health is dreadful, I just listen to her show and feel good about sharing knitting with her. Jessica I sense is someone who really helps people whose lives cross with hers just by being herself.
Robinznest, I started listening to this after i heard about it through the  Knit Lit Chicks podcast. Robin is very endearing and i wish i knew her because she is so positive about everything in her life. From the animals on her farm, to how much she loves her grandkids to the projects she's working on.
I'm enjoying listening and can'twait to see where her journey takes us.
Well i hope you all have a lovely week and i'll blog again soon with what i've been creating and what inspired me.
Take care

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Hi all,
So, health news first.
I had a second opinion consultant yesterday and came away a lot more satisfied for several reasons.
1: He agrees with us that I don't have an eating disorder,
2: He agrees it is not psychological,
3: He's arranging for me to have a full MRI.
So relieved, however he did warn me that because nothing had shown up on my previous investigations either side of my small intestine, that they might find something bad there and just to be warned. Also that it is going to be a long and painful road to recovery whatever is wrong with me. So, after crying a little Dave and I came home to the girls and our wonderful friend who'd looked after them and did some winding down.

Today has been productive knitting wise.
First I finished Kims vest.

Secondly I've picked up Niamhs Heart jumper again because otherwise she'll have grown out of it before i've finished.
Thirdly we went up to Heavenly Yarns and bought more yarn, the last 3 skeins for Stephi and Shawns baby blanket, three more balls of Lang yarn towards my shrug/cardi.
Also I bought another ball of Katia Aztecato make Dave another hat.

This evening having finally caught up on the podcasts by 2 Knit Lit Chicks, I've joined their Shawl KAL starting on 1/10/12. I'm making a wavy shawl using this purple yarn. It's called: Goth Girls Revenge Shadow Gradiant Fingering.

Very me hey!!!

So i'll let you know how i get on.

Friday, 7 September 2012


I'm finding it hard at the moment to remind myself to be positive about anything that isn't knitting related. My health is dire and i failed miserably to do my part in order to get a full ct done. (insert angry miserable sobbing) It has left mewondering if this is how my life will be from now on. Basically i take a lot of medication so i can eat after my bowel shut down on CHRISTMAS DAY last year. I lost 2 stone (28lb's) in about two weeks because i could only drink before 8am ish and couldn't eat a thing. I got so ill that my GP will only do home visits so i don't catch anything that i'm not strong enough to fight off. After several (let's say over 30) hopital visits and tests, they still don't know what's wrong. GRRRR. I'm now living on gluten, dairy and wheat free crumpets with margarine and golden syrup and every other morning my dear Dave is up before me cooking me a pear sponge cake to also eat with golden syrup. I have tea with soya milk and sugar and that's all i eat or drink. Those who know me, know this is torture as i love roast dinners and lasagne and fruit crumble etc. One day they'll fix me and i will be able to start eating proper food again.

I'm currently knitting a huge number of projects, two are prayer / healing shawls for two different friends. One has M.E and the other has had cancer. I can't offer to help with their chores or play with their children because i can't do that for myself. What i can do though is to knit a shawl to show how much they are loved and that they are being prayed for a full recovery into every stitch. It doesn't matter to me if they're Christian like me or not. I believe enough for us all.

I've completed Kimberlys OMG Ponies hat and it's just beautiful, LOOK!!!!!!

I've also only got to get enough yarn for another 3 projects and apart from time or a swarm of moths i am set for knitting this years presents.

As i'm losing my hair rapidly at the moment (40% over last 3 weeks) i invested in a set of 40cm circular addi premium needles to rapidly knit myself a selection of hats, I'm not a wig person. I made up a hat i'm very proud of and called it Autumn Assembly in my Revelry rojects.
I also yesterday bought the Chiaogoo hand painted flower 9" needle set purely because i've been longing for them since i first saw them advertised in Vogue Knitting 3 years ago.
One day i'll own some Signature needles too.

On a very happy note, my friend is pregnant so i can start the baby blanket for her too, but that will be a sideline project she's still a long way off yet.

So the only things left to do this evening is to do this evening are finish my necklace, do another shell for one shawl and a repeat on the other whilst watching a good film.
Night all, Elspeth x

P.S more on the books soon.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Hi there,
My health today is really bad so we'll leaveit at that!

For w hile now i've been thinking about writing a book, with anecdotes, stories and knitting patterns. I know how many patterns I want to include and how many pieces of writing or essays.
My head is spinng with so many ideas that if I don't write them all down i'll forget them and regret it always. So i've started that today too.

 For friends and Godparents to my daughters this year, my daughters have decided to make a story book. They've written the story and have been doing test photos. The idea is that they'll draw the chacters they want to use in their story and i then knit or sew the characters for them. (challenging!!!) They then position the characters for each scene and take a picture, these will then be edited by them on the computer for facial expressions etc. They will then combine the pictures and story to make a book which I said I would pay to get printed for them as peoples Christmas gifts. All very exciting and very pleasingly creative on their part. Proud mummy moment indeed.

I only have to find one more pattern for Christmas gifts. I have all the patterns (36 i think) labelled up in a plastic sleeve folder with the yarn type being used for each gift, I find it soothing knowing i can just flip through and see all the gifts waiting to be knitted or have started knitting already. It gives me a sense of being organised in one area while my health is so appalling. Some are amazing fun projects like a fairy i'm knitting for my youngest daughter Niamh in white and a green version for her best friend. Then the large projects like a simple jumper for Dave, to a secret project i've designed for him aswell. It will totally rock his inner geek and having shown his friends the design, withtheir approval i just need 2 colours left to purchase and it's a green light. Some of the patterns are ones that I've designed from scratch and will eventually either put in my book or sell on Ravelry. (once i know how)

Having completed Niamhs Fluffy jumper (one of my patterns) and Keiras King Cole Galaxy Bolero, I figured i should complete something for my eldest daughter Kimberly. So I'm doing her vest top. My own pattern (very simple) but using Rico Design Creative Micro DK.

 I've done the back and I'm halfway up the front. I reckon it should be done by monday if i don't get distracted by one of my other ongoing multiple projects. Which as any other knitter reading this knows, it will be a great feat if i resist.

I also have to start knitting baby things after Christmas because a mum we know is expecting her second child and i feel every baby should have at least one hand knitted piece as a show of love and well wishing for their future shown by the time it takes to make instead of buy.
Back soon x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Festive Miniatures !!!!!!

So, today I decided i would bite the bullet and post my first pattern on www.ravelry.com to see if people like what i can do. This is the pattern:

Festive Miniatures !!!!!!!!!!

Materials needed:
1.25mm - 2mm needles,
Embroidery thread / silk/ floss,
Seed beads ( Optional)

Note: You'll only need between 2 and 3 m for each piece.
So very economical decoations.
You can easily find a tutorial online to show you how to knit with beads, or you can simply sew them on afterwards. I do both plain and beaded variations.

K knit
P purl
kfb knit into front and back of stitch
pfb purl into front and back of stitch
K2togtbl knit 2 together through back of stitch
K2tog knit 2 sts together
P2tog purl 2 sts together


Cast on 12 stitches using the knit on method,
Work in K1,P1 rib for 7 rows,
Work in stocking stitch for 4 rows,
Next 4 rows: kfb in 1st and last st. 20 sts.
Knit 1 row,
Next row: pfb into 1st and last st. 22 sts.
Work in stocking stitch for 4 rows,
Next row: K2togtbl, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog.
Next row: P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, P2tog.
Cast off.
Weave in ends.
Fold piece in half and join the seam.

So.......Thursday 23rd August 2012

There's so much to fill in.

My Health is worse and still no diagnoses is in sight, I must admit i've become very despondant and close to breaking point, everything seems to make me break down and sob uncontroloably and my panics have been getting more frequant again, having had various unpleasant procedures I expected at least a hint of what is going wrong inside my body. At present i am having golden syrup on gluten free crumpets and gluten free pear sponge cake five times a day for calories. Plus it seems it's all my body will accept. sounds great for anyone with a sweet tooth but i want to be able to eat a roast or lasagne again only my body won't let me. I'm so angry at my body for whatever is going wrong. I've now also lost about 60% of my hair, again no one will even look into it. I have however on this stupid diet managed to get back some weight and i'm now 6st11.75oz. Just another stone to go......hmmmmm!!!!!

Ok so knitting update, been doing a ton of it, but also for a while i couldn't face any of it, it just became to much to handle mentally and emotionally. I kept looking at the project in my hand thinking "is there any point because i might be dead before i see it worn or too ill again to hold the needles to finish the knit object" organised Christmas knitting list too. I've designed my hubby a really cool jumper for Christmas which totally rocks and will satisfy the geek in him hugely.

I went to Heavenly Yarns on friday and bought some teal/ dark turquoise King Cole Galaxy after Keira my middle daughter held it up and said how pretty it was. I just saw how beautiful it made her eyes look and was sold. So I bought a pattern and yesterday i'd completed this..
Isn't she beautiful xxx
I also finished Niamhs lilac fluffy jumper i started a couple of weeks ago...
As you can see she loves it.

I've got loads more projects on the go, but these to are my most recently completed.
I am knitting all day other than the daily living essentials like eating and taking my meds, it is pretty much all i can do and although it is fun it is also a challenge and keeps my brain going too.
More soon xxx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

19/07/12 Previous Endevours....

Evening all,

So my girls modelled some of the items i've knitted for them in the past,
I've decided to include them because I honestly know that although i can mechanically perform the stitches, I wasn't really that good hey!!!
So to begin, when Kimberly was born I borrowed a book from my sister (she later told me to keep it) to make something for my newborn. I didn't have a clue that using a different yarn and needle size meant getting a completely different gauge to what the diagram said it should measure. It should have been a 3-ply on 2.75mm and 3mm needles and i used a heavy aran or chunky on 6mm needles.........
No one in my family corrected me as ( I think) i was having a great time emotionally. So the hat ended up being the size of a tea cosy and the scarf to match, well she still wears them now.
The Hat

The Scarf

Then i made a few othe items too, but when Keira was about 2.5 i made her this blue jumper because she fell in love with the fluffyness (she's REALLY into pink!) Ironically it's stretched as she's grown, Canny!!! I'm currently making the lilac one in yesterdays post for Niamh, cause she's 3.

This is Niamh,
She's modelling a single ball scarf i made just before i got really ill at Christmas, She LOVES it.

Kim begged!!!
She wanted some knitted shorts she'd seen in one of my knitting magazines, fine i thought, until i let her choose the yarn colour!!! It is actually almost flourescent orange, pitty my eyes, it was summer and too lovely to knit in the shade.

A smock Kim asked for,
She chose the yarn online, and it turned out to be the exact same colour lot from the exact same brand that the patter called for, spooky! I bought it anyway, better chance it would be accurate.

I am 99% proud of this as a knitting achievement, It took weeks and weeks knitting all the various leaves etc and doing my first ever box pleat on the back. I Love it, Keira loves it and knows that even as an adult it will turn into a cardi she can wear as it's a 36" bust, Childs Kimono = Adult Cardi, who knew :-) 1% downfall? It's also 100% Acrylic.

First attempt at a V-neck and at Argyle, not so great but she loves it because i made it, ahhh.

So a few more items from the past, more to come another day, but for the rest of this evening i'll be back onto the cotton party dress that still needs 63 rows and finishing etc by sunday lunchtime.
Night Folks, take care of each other, Elspeth xxx