family mending socks

an ordinary life

I am approaching the second toe of a long overdue pair of birthday socks.  I have been distracted by freewheeling machine embroidery, encouraging remarks (thank you everyone) and the market economy.

With all of this in mind, last week, when Fred showed me the most recent hole in his Isle of Wight socks (year 6 school trip) I casually suggested that because of time constraints we may have to purchase some socks from a Shop. You know the sort that are readily available in packs of 3, 5 or 7 striped or plain, cotton blend… Ordinary.

We did it, together we chose a pack of 5 stripy, cotton blend socks. Success I thought. But the socks have been rejected, they are too thin, too tight or too something.  The Something cannot be clearly defined but it is not a good something, ‘they are just not normal’

So a deal has been done; in return for a good boxed set, a bottle of Rioja and a clear floor….

gdf letter!

I will get out the hereditary darning mushroom and more sock yarn will be chosen.


aesop embroidery family hare tortoise

straightening up

I need to stretch!

prototype fable cushion on linen

Meet the hare and the tortoise, officially a prototype. My hare is far too far away, race officials would never believe this scenario even with the backing of an ancient Greek so I am starting again, this time I will concentrate and the tortoise will be significantly larger.workspace

The work space is untidy, and that picture…

wonky frost

It has been pointed out to me that my past would not have tolerated that angle for a moment. I think this is it’s third week. However there are murmurings of decorating – in fact I believe Gray Blue No.91 has been ordered.

farrow and ball number 82

Time for a re-hang.

family fundraising Kenya

can I mention…

In October Grace will be joining a group of students and staff from Ely Sixth Form College and travelling to Kenya for 10 days to support a charity funded school.  They will be building and decorating new classrooms, running multi-sports activities and cooking for children and assisting teachers.


In order to take part in this each person involved needs to raise £1500 to cover the costs of the trip.  Grace is planning a variety of fundraising activities – I don’t think she has booked a skydive yet; apparently it’s a height thing!


But she has set up an easyfundraising page where retailers will contribute a percentage of each online sale to charity.

So for those of you unable to  join her at the fantastic tea party planned for the summer, with cheese scones, Earl Grey, Jasmine and Jolly Good English do not worry, you are still able to contribute. Just click on this link  register, install the widget on your tool bar and treat yourself.

A sunny day at Hidcote.

Thank you xx

camh family knitting socks wellbeing

waiting room socks

It was during a long spell of waiting room time that I learnt to knit socks.

I hadn’t picked up knitting needles for years but hand knitted socks were being talked about a lot so I decided to give them a whirl. It is an addiction, everything you read is true; they are the most portable form of knitting taking up no space in a bag, they are not difficult, knitting in the round is the most comforting thing and they are true luxury to wear on your feet.

Not to mention the wonderful variety of sock yarn to choose from.


Today after almost a year we were back in the same waiting room and I completed a few rounds of the current sock. But, hopefully, this was a one off visit.  As well as learning to knit socks we have learnt a lot about wellbeing. Sock production may be slower but health and happiness are returning.

drawing family

a safe place

I have a new phone. It wasn’t a smooth transition. Thinking I could buy such a thing on a whim was a big mistake. After 48 hours I decided to cut my losses, return my impulsive purchase and start again.  But having explained my mistake to the salesperson, attempting to make a hasty retreat and pretend the whole debacle hadn’t happened, I picked up my purse and left my bag behind.

I don’t have a huge number of possessions to which I am emotionally attached but after 25 years this bag, small, impractical and beautifully made, is one of them. When I walked through the front door of number 24 carrying my purse and emergency chocolate I realised what was missing.

Driving at high speed (ahem) I careered into the car park and ran up the stairs to the customer service desk and gasped breathlessly ‘has anyone handed in a bag…?’ I felt an enormous wave of relief when the (very) young member of staff said ‘yes!’ she then asked me what was in it and without hesitation I replied ‘my husbands tie from our wedding day 18 years ago’. The (very) young member of staff was speechless, I don’t think she was born on 17 August 1996.


After a few moments she smiled and said ‘that’s lovely’.

Life drawing tonight, first time for at least 25 years! Nervous and excited.

elephant embroidery family tortoise

no gold thread

ImageAnother busy week and not a lot of sewing.  The promised laptop case has reached the nitty gritty stage of assembling.  And although this only involves some sort of reinforcing, lining and sewing side seams… you see I’ve already lost interest.  I just want to go and draw tortoises.DSCF9456

The end of that last post is badly worded.  No family members, immediate or extended, have any elephantine features.

drawing family knitting socks tea zauberball

half term

It has been a busy week with blue skies, coursework deadlines, days out, tea and cake and kittens.


Two days drawing and photographing with students at SOURCE run by the education dept at The Fitzwilliam Museum.


This is a superb resource available to all GCSE and A Level students (and enthusiastic younger siblings) who are preparing for exams.


Museum staff and visiting artists  on hand with a supply of art materials to discuss ideas, offer advice and show how to


copy work in the style of Gerhard Richter…


A visit to Textiles In Focus at Cottenham Village College where I found more Crazy Zauberball at the Twist Yarns stand. Socks for birthday nephew in the pipeline.


And a laptop sleeve with an elephant  for a daughter – maybe even including some gold thread.

Oh yes, and kittens. Otis and Perry, after 24 hours, are very much at home.

embroidery family valentine

King of Hearts

I have completed my picture card.


A 10 x 7cm free wheeling machine embroidery on canvas                                                                     using Gutermann Thread and Acrylic paint.

‘Fill my heart with gladness
Take away my sadness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do’


I wonder if I like the back more; an abstract jumble of muted colours.kingback

Wishing you all love on the Feast of Saint Valentine.

bookshops Ely embroidery family Toppings

the best view in town

The whole team ended up here this afternoon.


Not only a mighty fine view but the best bookshop for many milesImage

and a jolly good cup of coffee.Image

Meanwhile, when I am not being distracted…Image

I am thinking about hearts and kings and paint and stitches.Image

Did you notice that proper looking blog link! Thank you to my most patient technical support department.

badgers family knitting Noro socks

keeping up

The first socks of 2014 are off the needles.


I love working with Noro yarn, the colours are wonderful and the finished article a joy to wear.sock

sock2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These are knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, colour 8

and there is some discussion regarding ownership…

Keeping up with sock requirements for folk around here isn’t easy for a slow knitter like me but a second pair have been started in colour 369.

f1spring kitchen

Meanwhile there are now Badgers on cushions and I hope to update my Etsy shop on Sunday.