Updated knitting pattern posts

I’ve been trying to get all technical this weekend (in the most basic way!) and I’ve updated my knitting pattern posts to include buy now buttons! It’ll take you through the payment page after which you can download the pdf pattern straight away.

So you can now buy my knitting patterns without being members of Ravelry, although why you wouldn’t want to be a member I don’t know 😉

Currently I have 4 patterns for sale (number 5 is coming very soon, and is even supported with video tutorials!) and they are:

The falling leaves hat and scarf set:

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which you can by clicking here (see I’m getting really good at adding these buttons! haha)

And the three part Cosy Seed Stitch set:

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Which you can also buy the parts of by clicking:

Wrist warmers , headband , and buttoned cowl

OK, that’s quite enough practice adding the buttons 😉 I hope this makes it easier for you to get your hands on my patterns and start knitting!

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Recent goings on!

Well, I did promise a longer post to let you know what I’ve been up to!

I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of weeks doing what I can for the current refugee crisis. I took it upon myself to get fundraising started in my local community. We had a community meeting and decided that we would support Oxfam and the excellent work they are undertaking in the refugee camps out in Lebanon and Jordan (amongst other things).

We kicked off our fundraising with a coffee morning and bake sale in a local church hall last Saturday where we raised £600 and enjoyed some delicious cakes too!

My cakey contribution:

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It was pretty busy all morning, we estimate there were at least 100 people which was an excellent turnout!

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The lovely group of volunteers who helped me to run it:

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We’ve also been having some tasty home baking at our mother and toddler group and have raised another £20 this way so far.

I’ve also been having a rummage through the house for suitable clothes and things I could donate to the charities taking supplies out to the refugees. I’m pleased to say I was able to find quite a lot, including: 2 sleeping bags, 3 roll mats, 4 coats, trousers, jumpers, wellies, backpacks, vac packed food, matches, water purification tablets. And my mum and I combined it with a few things bought specially including: underwear, socks, toiletries, medicine, stationary, nappies. It felt like a lot of stuff, and yet not a lot at the same time.

I also wrote little notes and put them in pockets and under straps. I hope whoever receives my donations can take some comfort in knowing that people still care about them. My lovely big boy also insisted on doing some drawings “for the people who had to run away from their homes”.

And because, as my dad always says, you can be sure your good deeds will not go unpunished, some charming person decided to key my car, also last Saturday.

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Very kind… I’m not sure who I’ve offended to quite that degree but to attack my car in my driveway like that, it must be bad. And it goes the whole way from the headlights to the taillights. Great.

But, to end on a more positive note, we have finally finished our front garden transformation! We had grey pebbles which just looked so… bleh. Now we still have the veg patch, and we lifted the remainder of the stones and created a curved corner flowerbed and laid turf:

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I’m so pleased with the finished garden, it looks so much more alive and inviting! I feel like we actually have some kerb appeal now!

Syria refugee crisis

Sorry to bring a depressing tone to the blog, but this is just too important. Actually, no, I’m not sorry. If being sad, angry and horrified at the images of poor drowned children is what it takes for us to sit up, take notice and do something to help then that’s what we should do.

That poor boy who has made front covers today was only 3 years old. 3. The same age as my biggest boy. His name was Aylan Kurdi. He had a 5 year old brother who also drowned, along with their mother, as they attempted to escape from horrors most of us can’t even imagine. They were not, as some would have you believe, just out to milk our benefits system for all they could. That attitude is so monumentally stupid and offensive that I’m actually flabbergasted. Obviously some people really do not have any humanity.

Last night I could barely sleep as every time I closed my eyes all I could see were those poor children.

I’ve set up a local Facebook group and today I have organised a meeting at my local library to kick start local fundraising, and also encourage more people to donate to charities such as CalAid who are helping refugees who have already made the journey to Europe and are now living in camps. These people have nothing and they desperately need our help.

I’m also going to organise a knitting drive to make blankets so stay tuned for more on that.

If there is already a local effort where you live then join in. If there isn’t, then take the initiative and get something organised. Being sad and doing nothing about it is not going to help. Get angry. Get motivated. Get organising.

I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to figure it out as I go. I’ve never organised a coffee morning before but that won’t stop me. I can’t just sit and do nothing. I’m just sorry it’s taken me this long.

Late to the party but here at last!

Ok ok, so I’m totally late to this party but I’ve finally got around to joining Pinterest! And instagram! Yes, I realise it’s taken me longer that it should and yes, I can see many hours being enjoyably wasted on both!

So if you’d like a sneaky peak at what I’m up to, then you can follow me at by Catriona on instagram, and see what I like the look of at by Catriona on pinterest.

Also if anyone has any good accounts to follow then let me know! 🙂

New kitchen floor, wedding anniversary and delicious cake!

Well it was a week of hard work last week (made harder by having baby boy in tow) but we now have a lovely new kitchen floor! We decided to go for a Moroccan stone effect laminate from Wickes which is suitable for use in kitchens.

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And it turns out that pattern drafting is a very handy transferable skill when laying laminate flooring! Thanks to being able to cut out the funny angles needed in our kitchen (I’m pretty sure there’s not a single right angle in our house) we had very little waste and in fact have an extra pack to go back to the shop. Excellent!

We’ve still to trim the kick boards and reattach them under the units, and find a matching scotia for along the skirting boards, but they are much smaller jobs. At least we have a dry and functioning kitchen again!

Thankfully all that was last week and not this so it didn’t spoil our 5th wedding anniversary! I can’t believe 5 years has flashed passed so fast since that lovely sunny day back in 2010

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To celebrate I made us a delicious tropical pineapple and coconut cake (which I shall share the recipe for in a separate post). It was incredibly delicious (if I do say so myself!) and I’m sure is one that I will make again!

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And no, I don’t have a photo of the whole cake as it was cut before I realised!

How did you spend Monday?

So we had a great fun week last week. What with mastitis, our boiler needing flushed and finding out that our dishwasher has secretly been leaking and the whole floor is soaked under the vinyl. So. Much. Fun.

The mastitis was probably the least bad part of that lot, which is saying something! And I can also confirm that raw garlic really does work as an antibiotic. I wasn’t able to get to the dr so I checked kellymom and one of the home remedies suggested 3-5 cloves of garlic a day, combined with a high dose (3000-5000mg) of vitamin C. I might not have been hugely popular with my poor husband but it did the trick! And having seen part of a (terrifying) programme about antibiotic resistant superbugs I can now feel like I’ve done my bit by not using antibiotics this time.

The boiler needing flushed was actually a blessing in disguise as it was whilst looking for underfloor access that the repair man discovered that the floor was wet. And a little investigating on our part found that the water inlet pipe connector has been leaking, and the water was running down the side and under the vinyl which is why we had no idea.

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I never did like that flooring but this wasn’t really the circumstances under which I imagined changing it! But change it we will have to as there was no way to lift it all intact to let the floorboards dry out.

And that’s how I spent Monday:

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Lifting vinyl, cutting plywood, scraping off adhesive, and airing my kitchen floorboards with the help of my wonderful dad. Some of which was done with a baby strapped to my back. As you do.

Luckily today is a day off as there’s nothing we can do until the boards are dry, so I shall be spending much of today choosing my new kitchen floor. Time to shop! 🙂

Oh magic sponge, where have you been all my life?!

Sorry for a slightly nonsense post (but I’m very tired and not up to a proper post) however: oh my goodness, how amazing are magic sponges?!

A friend was talking about them on Facebook the other day and so when I happened across them in the supermarket I thought I’d give them a try. And after I’d finished the washing up last night I got one out to test it on the stubborn stain at the side of my sink and my word was it easy to clean!

Which did then lead to a little bit of a cleaning frenzy, culminating in the easiest oven door clean I’ve ever done. Usually even after steam cleaning and scrubbing there’s a stubborn film left behind but this incredible little sponge got rid of it, using only soapy water, with minimal effort. Amazing!

Honestly: go and buy some. You can thank me later!

And now I’m going to stop, because I do realise how sad it is that I’m this excited about a cleaning product. But hey, that’s how I roll these days 😉