Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Greyhound Snoods

Whenever we go away anywhere I always make sure I take plenty of knitting & crocheting to do.  In fact I probably take more of this stuff than clothes & food.  Recently whilst we were away in Derbyshire marooned in our snowbound cottage, I knitted my way through a good load of greyhound snoods.  As mentioned in a  previous blog entry awhile ago I use the wonderful pattern from Erssie called Dizzy Lily - A Snood for a Hound.  Erssie sells this pattern to support Essex Greyhound Rescue.  The link to the pattern can be found scrolling down on the right hand side of her homepage.  The pattern suggests knitting with dpns but as I absolutely loathe and can’t get on with these devilish instruments of torment I usually knit flat on two needles and once finished quickly sew the seam up. You find my current selection for sale HERE
As modelled by Raven (top) and Bluey the nearly real greyhhound

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Greyhound Calendar

The 2011 Action for Greyhounds UK is now on sale for £7.95 plus postage and available from AFG’s website here – where you can pay by cheque or paypal.  My very own Raven is the star of May.  I think you will agree he looks every inch the star due to the talent of Greyhound Watch whose stunning photography is featured throughout the calendar.

AFG 2010 Calendar

AFG 2010 Calendar RavenAFG 2010 Calendar Raven1

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A week in the Derbyshire Snow

Saturday 27th November saw us head north to stay at Aero Cottage near Baslow in Derbyshire.  This delightful, tastefully converted stone holiday cottage sleeps 4 and is equipped with everything to make your holiday perfect.  John & Claire the owners are always on hand for any queries or advice about the local area -they live behind the property.  We had stayed previously in Aero in September and thoroughly enjoyed our stay especially as they are one of the few holiday cottages that allow two pets.  The ground floor of the cottage has flag stones with under floor heating, so with dogs and boots traipsing in and out, there are no carpets to worry about. 


We left Norfolk with a slight dusting of snow on the ground and as we proceeded northwards up through Lincolnshire and into Nottinghamshire there was a little more snow about.  However we arrived safely at our destination stopping for a well earned late lunch at the nearby market town of Bakewell (famous for its puddings!).  We soon settled ourselves in for the evening.


Sunday and Monday were ok to get about in, we could drive out to the local villages and get a meal out in the evenings as long as we drove really carefully.  Both evenings we drove into Sheffield to pick up Sam to take him out for a meal.  Also Monday was Nigel’s birthday (46th!).

IMGP6979However from Tuesday onwards we experienced a lot of snow (about 2 foot in places) and freezing temperatures and after visiting Bakewell in the morning to pick a few supplies up we headed back to the cottage where we stayed put until we left on the Saturday morning.  Luckily on Thursday, Charlie the son of the owners of the cottage gave Nigel a lift into Chesterfield in his landrover which with difficulty managed to creep back up the hill to the cottage and his house.



We had a lovely relaxing time where I got loads of knitting and crocheting done but we would have like to have gone walking in the hills as we usually do.  Nigel had to dig us out of the cottage drive and on to the road.




Our journey home was initially slow as the first 15 miles took over an hour to drive but once past Mansfield we drove home as normal as there was considerably less snow the farthest east we went.  On arrival home there was hardly any snow around but evidence of some very hard frosts and to Nigel’s dismay our little river dyke that leads onto the main river was frozen and remains frozen to date, so he is unable to get his boat out from its shed.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Raven ready for a cold spell

I finished Raven’s new jumper yesterday, so he is already for his duties with us fundraising in the lead up to Christmas.  Probably not a good idea to let him loose on a walk in it though, as he has a tendency to sidle up to any hedge, bush or tree to ‘cock’ his leg, if you know what I mean and knowing Raven he would be likely to snag it and then run off with his new apparel unravelling behind him!


With the collar rolled down


Wearing his jumper ‘snood style’

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Crazy for Crochet

I love knitting but in the last couple of years I have found attempting to knit for long periods of time hurts my thumbs not sure if it is RSI or arthritis, so I have been leaning towards doing more crochet plus the projects seem to proceed quicker.   I was taught to knit by my Mother but taught to crochet by my Grandmother. 

A recent finished crochet project was this crazy scrapghan blanket I made from all the odds and ends of chunky (bulky) yarn I had kicking about.  I made 4 different colour themed panels, crocheted them together and then did a quick border around the whole blanket.  I was pleased how it turned out and it was a relatively quick project completed on and off in 2- 3 weeks, unlike some other blankies I am in the middle of making – a hexagon, granny type blanket and a log cabin blanket I started over a year ago.


I am now in the process of crocheting Raven a snood combined jumper using two strands of double knit in orange and brown.  The orange was donated to me but I thought a bright orange jumper on its own would be too vivid so I toned it down with a dark brown.  I purchased the pattern from the Etsy store of the pattern  Crochet Pattern for Greyhound Sweater and Snood.  I have had to modify the pattern a little by cast off more around the chest area and continuing the collar to make it into an attached snood rather than a seperate snood.  I had it nearly finished before I realised it wasn’t a great fit around Raven’s chest and had to rip it back.  Once it is finished he should be real toasty in it especially as in December we have quite a few outside fund raising collections taking place.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Week 7

Well I have continued with the running programme Couch to 5K – where it is possible to be able to run 5k after 9 weeks of training.  The idea is to run three times a week, mainly doing intervals – walk for so long, run for so long, walk for so long.  Week 6 was really hard as Day 3 was brisk walk for 5 minutes and then continuously run for a WHOLE 25 minutes!!  The thought of that was very daunting, but not to be deterred I started it and guess what, I managed to do it all.  According to my treadmill my distance was about 2 miles.  Tuesday night I start Week 7 which is the same as Week 6 Day 3 but hopefully increasing the distance over the same amount of time, so I shall have to up the speed a tiny but.  At the moment I am running at 5mph.  I usually hate to exercise unless it is walking but this programme I am really enjoying and once I graduate I am going to actually run outside!  Maybe by that time I will be fitter and not look so red in the face as I do at the moment.  You can download all kinds of podcasts for the programme with mixes of music and cues to walk or run at the appropriate times. At the moment I am using Carli’s podcast from her website Running into shape – the music is a mix of r ‘n’ b and hip hop, but there are loads of different ones out there.  The running must be helping with my weight loss as in 6 weeks I have lost 10lbs – only another 32lbs to reach my goal of a 3 stone loss!!


This is Floyd one of the dogs our rescue group is trying to find a home for – I probably run with my tongue out too!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Great balls of yarn

Last weekend was the first weekend in ages that I didn’t have to participate in a fund raising event.  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it and I wouldn’t volunteer if I didn’t enjoy it but nevertheless it was lovely to have a lie in on Sunday morning.  On the Saturday night my sister and her hubbie came over and I cooked them a meal.  It was her birthday on the Sunday and we met up with some other members of the family and had yet another meal.  All this eating out wasn’t very conducive to my new healthy eating regime.  I didn’t have a starter or dessert but thoroughly enjoyed my main course which was kind of like a beef wellington vegetarian style made of portobello mushroom encased in pastry with an absolutely to die for creamy dijon mustard sauce – YUMMY!  I duly gifted my sister her birthday presents, two of which were handmade – a soft snuggly scarf made from pompom yarn and some crocheted coat hangers.  Even though it was my big sis’s birthday she had bought me a gift – this funky, bright, woolly, made from giant pom poms, scarf. 

Here is the link where it is available in UK. 


Despite all that rich food I still managed a loss at my Monday night weigh in – only a pound but definitely better than gaining any.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

I am still here!

Not sure if anyone reads my blog but as of late you may have noticed I haven’t posted for a long while – SORRY!  I have bee super busy over the summer months especially with work (obviously this is our busiest time) and with fund raising events for greyhound protection & rescue taking up nearly every weekend.

Thinking back to the beginning of the year I did a posting about gaols and since then I can honestly say I haven’t achieved one of them (well Number 4 (Be more organised) I half do as I am quite organised at work).  I am restarting No 1 and No 2.  I have enrolled at Slimming World and went for my first weigh in last night and lost 3½ lbs WOOHOO!  Also at the same time I have started The Couch to 5K program which aims to get you running non stop for 5km in 9 weeks.  I am just about to start Week 2, and so far am loving it. No 3 – not much chance of that, I could give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money!!  No 5 hopefully will come with No 1 & No 2.

I have still been knitting and crocheting lots – will post some pics at a later date.

I will leave you with a pic of Raven & Tillie helping to sell handmade doggie bandanas at fund raising events.

Copy of bandanas

Sunday, 25 July 2010



Here are some pictures from my weekly inspection of my bees.  At the moment I have two hives, one really strong colony and one very small colony which I have persevered with for two seasons but to no avail.  My bee keeping friend Tony gave me a virgin queen last week to re-queen this weak colony but as yet she hasn’t started to lay yet.  She needs to go on her nuptial flight with some of the boys (drones) to be fertilised, then hopefully she should start laying eggs.  The other hive (the really strong one) is doing really well.  At the moment I have two brood boxes on (the boxes where the eggs are laid and the young bees are reared) and 3 supers (the boxes where the honey is stored).  There are a LOT  of bees in this hive, literally thousands and luckily they are evenly tempered and don’t get too narky whilst I am looking through them.

This first picture is a frame of uncapped honey which is probably still being processed by the bees.


The next picture is of capped honey, sealed by beeswax.  This is ok to take off but I won’t be doing that for a few more weeks yet.  Each super if full normally holds about 20 pounds of honey.


The next picture is of the bottom brood box where most of the bees are, you can only see a fraction of the bees.


I have another hive of bees in the garden as well but these are Tony’s.

A chap who keeps a lot of bees locally is reducing the number of hives he keeps due to ill health and is selling them at a very reasonable price - £160 for a full colony of bees.  I have ordered two of these to try and increase my stock as usually I would have had a swarm by now but none have been forth coming.  The hives should be available middle of August.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Cake vicar?

These are a fun knit – easy, quick and uses minimal yarn - Cupcakes by Alison Hogg


Now off to google more cake patterns – makes you feel hungry doesn’t it?