Archive | September, 2014

My Week

24 Sep

On Saturday I helped out at Miniatura at the NEC. Before knitting I was into all things miniature, I’m still the proud owner of three dolls houses but they have been sadly neglected over recent years. My hobby first started when Toby was about two. I went on a course run by Pat Cutforth and I was hooked. She taught me ‘why buy when you can make’ and that has lived with me since. I love wood, I love the grain and the feel, it has an endless quality which improves with age. Pat lives on a lovely farm in Wiltshire and I have been on many courses there, occasionally combining it with a holiday with Graham and Toby. Pat makes the best brownies ever and I always had to make sure I brought some back with me for Toby. Any way over the years Pat has raised huge sums for Cancer Research UK, she is a real inspiration. Twice a year she has a charity stall at the NEC, the stock all donated and with my mum we help out manning the stall. It’s a great feel good day but is hard work. Sometimes though I think some of our ‘customers’ forget we are all volunteers and raising money for a good cause! In this day and age none of us are untouched by cancer. It is a good cause and Pat does a fantastic job with it. As long as she wants to do it I will help out, even if my love of miniatures never returns.

On Monday I received a very special delivery, in fact so special it reduced me to tears. It is a teddy made out of Toby’s shirt. It was the shirt all Toby’s Topman colleagues wore to his funeral. The Teddy was made for me by Carries’s Threadbears @thread_bears on Twitter. I love to hold my teddy and smell him, although Toby’s smell is long gone I can still imagine it is there, it brings a mix of sadness and comfort at the same time, hence the tears.


I have progressed with my brothers jumper, it now has a side as well as a back, I am beginning to have to concede that with only two weeks left the chances of me finishing before his birthday are nil!


Tuesday was Yarn in the Barn at Black Sheep Wools. My goodness there was a lot of yarning going on this week, very little of it of the woolly variety! It is essential to choose a project to do at the group with care. It needs to be simple and easy to undo as the amount of talking makes concentrating on knitting or crocheting difficult at times! At the moment I am knitting Stephen a jumper. It is in husky by sirdar, a jumper Stephen chose the other week when we went to an open day at the barn. I love that they make Stephen as welcome there as they do me.


It’s no good, it’s official, I’m addicted to sock yarn! Self patterning yarn is one of the best inventions ever, it amazes me every time as I watch the pattern emerge! My addiction, alongside my discovery of yarn on eBay is a fatal combination, but at least they look good!



I have some items for sale in aide of #tobysgift. Now it is getting colder I’m sure you all need a nice warm snugly cowl. I am asking a minimum of £10 donation, all of which will go to the charity. I will pay the postage. Message me directly if there is anything you fancy .


#tobysgift is a branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust


Knitting and me

18 Sep

I first started knitting when I left university and was waiting to begin my first job, over the years with work and children my pass time gradually dwindled. In 2011 I was lucky enough to be allowed a career break, to take some time out from the pressure of caring for a child who has additional needs alongside a full time career. During that time I decided to take up crochet and took some classes. Little did I know quite what a life saver that decision would turn out to be!

In 2012 when Toby died I could not concentrate on anything, a very normal reaction, but equally I found the not being able to absorb myself in anything horrendous. I became quite desperate for a release from the pressure of grieving and it is then that I turned to crochet, I’ve literally not stopped since!

My concentration is still rubbish but now it does not worry me, nobody really cares that I forget names or can’t tell what book I’m reading or the name of my yarn. I can not just sit and do nothing, it is too great a pressure, it fills me with panic, my stomach turns and I get the desire to run. I drive Graham nuts in the car but not if I crochet and joy of joys I can do that whilst on a journey.

Sometimes I knit or crochet to forget, sometimes I do it just to keep the demons at bay, to stop the darkness covering me, sometimes it just helps me order my thoughts and make sense of my world.

I was very blessed that about eight months after Toby died my local yarn shop started a knit and natter group. I found it very hard to mix with people then but I could manage the group as I did not need to participate, I could just knit or crochet but be surrounded by others. I wander if they all know how much healing has happened in that room. I now consider my fellow yarn in the barners as some of my best friends. They allow me to be me, I am not the mother of a dead child, the mother of a child with additional needs, I am just a fellow lover of yarn.

I am luck that Blacksheep Wools also holds some great workshops. Over the last few weeks I have completed a professional finishing course with Jem Weston. Jem has a lovely non threatening teaching style, I recommend her courses to you. We made two delightful little more teddy tops


Any lover of yarn will understand that it is essential to have a few projects on the go at any one time, plus of course a few other ones in the pipe line.

My sister in law asked me to make my brother a new aran to replace his much loved 30 year old one made by our nana, apparently it is starting to show signs of age! I have finished the back and this week started on the front and mastered my first pocket!


I am also crocheting a shawl and knitting socks, these are to take to Majorca with me next month but I just could not stop myself!


I would like to say this is all I’m making but it would be a big wooly lie!

Until the next time ……..