Blog Archive


Hello!  Happy Friday to you all.

It's been a glorious day - sunny and warm - and I've had such a nice day.  I was up and baking scones bright and early this morning to take to a Macmillan coffee morning at a friend's house.  Such a great thing to get together to support and we raised lots of money, whilst enjoying lots of happy conversation and laughter.  I won a box of Ferrero Rocher in the raffle and also won the 'guess the weight of the cake' competition.  Obviously my lucky day!

Not only did I spend a couple of hours this morning in good company, eating cake, I also had a leisurely afternoon, as my friend from my former workplace came over and we had pots of tea and plenty of chatter. What a nice way to spend a Friday!

A couple of days ago the knitting in elastic arrived that I had ordered (from Amazon, as I haven't found a local stockist yet).  There are 200 metres in a reel and it cost £2, plus postage.  It's rather strange stuff, as it's gossamer light, incredibly stretchy, but feels surprisingly strong.  

Despite having several of projects on the go I started another knee high sock as I'm keen to let you know how it works.  I worked 40 rows of rib, as I have completed the first sock of my second pair of knee highs and have been testing it around the house (looking very odd, with just one sock on!) and it feels about right.  To use the elastic I just held it along with the yarn and knitted away as normal.  It was a bit slow to start, as the elastic doesn't slip off the needle quite as easily as the yarn, but I soon got used to it being there and completed the rib only a bit slower than normal.  Once the rib was completed I cut the elastic and left a long enough length to darn in later.

The elastic is hailed as being 'invisible' but I can see it a bit on the knitting, but not enough to bother me.  In any case, the tops of my socks are hidden in my trousers!    I will let you know how it holds my socks up once I have finished it!  I took a photo just now of the ribbing, but it's dark outside and so this is a pretty poor photo but you get the idea.  The yarn is King Cole Zig Zag, in colourway 'Wicked'.

This weekend I am soooo excited to be taking part, once again, in Yarndale, the wonderful, woolly festival in Skipton.  I am volunteering both days and also looking forward to having a good look around too.  I absolutely love Yarndale, and personally think it is the most interesting, most friendly, of all the yarny shows I have been to. 

Finally, as I've been in and out of the house today (mainly to eat cake) this happy sight has greeted me at the front door.  Pretty pink cyclamen and happy pansy faces.  What a beautiful day it's been :)

Happy weekend to you all, and I hope some of you are able to be at Yarndale too!

Donna x 

Full Circle

Hello!  Thank you for stopping by and a warm welcome to all my new readers, many of whom found me via my friend, Lucy, Attic24. Thank you, Lucy, for the thought provoking post, which followed on from our conversation in Cooper's about blog writing.  It really made me think that maybe waiting until I had something 'big' to write about meant I was missing out on chronicling the everyday minutiae that makes life the wonderful journey that it is.  After all, I won't always have a wedding to write about!!

Having said that, today I want to share with you my visit to my daughter and her partner, who have recently made the move from Oxford to Canary Wharf, London, in readiness for her start in the world of finance.

I am a Londoner originally and despite loving life in the beautiful North West of England, still have a bit of my heart in London.  My children and I have lived in several different countries but they have never actually lived in my home city, up until now.  So, last week, instead of journeying to London to see my late parents, or my sister, I was now going to visit my child.  Life has gone full circle.

I travelled by train, and had a pleasant journey (with plenty of knitting!) ending up at Canary Wharf station, to meet my daughter, who was going to accompany me by foot to their new home.  It was so wonderful to see her and there was much hugging in the middle of the street :)

Their apartment is lovely!  They showed me around and we had a delicious lunch before heading out to Greenwich, a short journey on the Docklands Light Railway, for a walk.  There is so much to see in Greenwich, but today we were there to walk, and we climbed the hill to the look at the Greenwich Meridian, home to Greenwich Mean time, of course!  The view from the top was extra special today as we were now looking across to where DD and her Lovely Partner (LP) live.  (The storm clouds were gathering at this point, but we made it home before the rain!)

Greenwich is home to the Cutty Sark, restored after a devastating fire in 2014, which in turn followed a fire in 2007.  It's a spectacular sight as you come around the corner from the station.  

Greenwich is also home to more of London's parakeets and we spent several minutes watching them feasting on nuts and berries in the trees.  This little chap was camera shy!

The following day DD and I went to the West End to do some shopping, and in the evening spent a happy time on the balcony as the storm had passed and it was a pleasant evening.  I could never tire looking at this view!   The buildings are almost majestic, and certainly awe-inspiring.

The following day, yesterday, the three of us had a leisurely lunch in the West End and in the late afternoon it was time for me to head back to Euston to catch my train home.  

Spending time with my daughter - chatting, laughing, snuggling on the sofa, is precious time indeed, and I treasure every single second.

Donna x

Knee High Socks


Since learning how to knit socks last winter, I have developed somewhat of a sock-knitting obsession (I was warned I would!)  Up until now I have used Winwick Mum's excellent pattern 'as is', just adjusting the size as necessary, and have knitted several pairs for my daughter and my husband (!)  

I thought it was time to knit some for myself, but the dilemma was that when I wear socks I only ever wear knee high ones.  When I explained this to my daughter she asked me why, and I said "Because I always have done!"  Not much of an answer really, and somewhat akin to saying "Because I said so".  I decided to have a go at adapting  Christine's (Winwick Mum) pattern to make knee highs, and here's what I did, giving full credit to Christine for the original pattern, which I highly recommend!

I wanted to end up with a main working number of stitches of 60, so to accommodate my calf, I cast on 68 stitches.  I worked 27 rounds of rib, hoping the extra rib will stop my socks from falling down (which is a pet hate of mine!)

Once the rib was complete I worked 9 rounds of knit.  On round 10 I decreased 1 stitch on each side.  I continued in the same way, decreasing 2 stitches on rounds 20, 30 and 40, ending up with the 60 stitches I needed.

I worked a total of 140 rounds (including the rib) and then carried on following Christine's pattern for the heel, foot etc.

Here are the finished socks!

I am really pleased with them, and they are just the right length.  I've been wearing them around the house and they feel great.  I am just a little concerned that when I wear them out all day they may slip down a little, but if they do I will try threading a little shirring elastic on the inside of the rib, not too tight, as I don't want to cut off my circulation, but just enough to give them a little more grip.  Next time I may also try increasing the depth of the rib too.  I will let you know how I get on.

UPDATE:  I've worn my knee high socks quite a bit now, and they are deliciously warm and toasty, and great for these cooler days.  However, they do work their way down, and I feel like a ten year old, having to stop and pull them up.  They also feel a bit loose on my feet, and I am wondering if I have started knitting more loosely, now that I am more confident as a sock knitter.  For my next pair I  cast on 64 stitches for the ribbing, followed the method above to decrease 2 stitches at a time, to give a final number of 56 stitches to see if that gives the snugger (is this a word??) fit that I like.  I am also making the ribbing even deeper - 40 rows of it this time!

However, for the pair above all is not lost!  I wore the socks for several hours, to stretch the ribbing a bit, threaded a wool needle with a long length of shirring elastic and ran several rows of stitches (about an inch and a half's worth) through the pairs of knit stitches on the inside, taking care to keep the ribbing flat and not to pull the elastic very much.  HOWEVER, I can't stress enough that is so important NOT to pull the elastic tight as that could be very detrimental to the circulation in the legs. Years ago I had deep vein thrombosis and, later on, surgery for varicose veins, so I am very mindful of not having anything tight around my calves.  This is the reason I wore the socks first, to stretch the ribbing, as it would make for much more relaxed elastic.  When the socks are on I can't feel the elastic at all, it doesn't leave any mark on my legs at the end of the day, but my socks stay up!  Yay!!

I also discovered a magical looking thing called 'knitting in elastic', which, as the name suggests, you knit alongside the yarn as you go.  It seems to be quite a traditional thing, used for ribbing on sleeves, hems, as well as socks, to help the ribbing keep its shape.  I have ordered some of this to try for the pair after the pair I am knitting (knit faster, Donna!!!) and will let you know how I get on with it.

I have also made another 'normal' pair for my daughter.  These are in King Cole Zig Zag, in the colourway of 'Wizard'.  My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan and she loves them!

I would love to hear if any of you have made knee high socks and if so, how you keep them from slipping down!  Please leave a comment below if you have any hints or tips.  Thank you! x

Donna x