Jo Whessell7th January 2009: For the best part of 2 months I was knitting & crocheting the big cat afghan in time for giving it to Loui, one of my daughters, as a Christmas present - then she suddenly left the project dangling when she announced that

Junior & Knuckles dozing on my stuff

The first afghan I made

My other half

The couch throw

Sammy the model

Just the right size for the cat

Junior in his basket

Knuckles on a double-sized cat afghan

she wanted a brown & red striped throw to match her decor!

There was no way I had enough yarn in the right colours & equally no way I could knit something that looked as neat as a mass produced product. I couldnít believe my luck when I found one for her, after one heck of a lot of hunting through the shopping centres, in TKMax. Just what she would want - problem solved, back to finishing the afghan and this time it was for me. 

I finally finished the last stitched, laid it on the single bed, took photos, was as pleased as Punch. I cuddled up in it that night & it felt great. The next morning our 2 cats, Junior & Knuckles, decided to sprawl all over it & wouldnít budge for anyone.

The following day David brought John in for a chat, he took one look at my afghan & said ďI want thatĒ & handed me money (oh, do I like money!!). He gave it to his Grandmother who presumably likes cats even though she doesnít own any.

The weather has gone real cold, they say itís going to reach -12c. Thatís far too cold for me to be going down to the garage to knit another afghan. As it is, recently when itís been a bit chilly my hands have cramped up. And my toes. Thats all about arthritis adding insult to injury. I tried knitting with a pair of gloves on but ended up catching the fingers on the needles. Thatís better than actually knitting my own fingers - something I have done before now. Knitting a finger feels about the same as having Knuckles suddenly digging into my wrist & gnawing on me like a bone! Little beast.  Yes - I bit him back.

Anyway - I need the weather to warm up a little more for me to start to knit another Kitkat afghan.  Although in the meantime, because it is so cold, I have been thinking up some ideas for making a few ďquickyĒ items to put on sale.  The only reason I have time on my hands is because that dreadful woman I work for has broken just about every Employment Law there is, so while I am at home waiting for phone calls & letters from solicitors, I shall enjoy doing what I like doing most of all - updating my web site & thinking about new machine knit ideas. 

10th January 2009: Itís only -11c today so I went down to the garage & turned on the little oil radiator & left it to warm up for half an hour.  It made no difference, it was still freezing, but nevertheless when I want to knit I will.  I need to knit a replacement for my afghan which John bought.  Knitted 2 lengths before the frost on my fingertips made me give up.  Knuckles came in to join me but complained after 5 minutes because it was rather chilly even for him.

11th January: Sammy phoned me. She had seen my afghans on Facebook & asked me to knit one for her.  Back down to the garage to knit 2 more sections.

12th January: The weather has suddenly got warm - no need for radiator in the garage even though it is piddling with rain. Knitted the last 2 sections.

13th January: Finished the afghan for Sammy. Got bored and made a pink cat bed.

14th January: Thought about knitting the afghan in black & white & reversing/inverting the colours.  Should have thought that one out before I knitted up a section because the end result was a whole load of faceless cats as their features got lost in white.  Back to sticking to knitting the motifs ALWAYS in a darker contrasting colour.

15th January: Had spent loads of money on buying stone coloured 4 ply yarn cones off Ebay only to find that the 4 ply was in fact aran weight. Hate the stuff.  Damned typical - of course, the ďexpertsĒ at the Ebay knitting shop said that they could knit it up on their machines. Yeah, right, and you used a forklift truck to get the carriage from one end to the other. They really do take me for an idiot sometimes. By the way - anyone in the jolly old UK - I do have loads of odds and ends of cones I would like to sell - cheap, not greedy.  Got LOADS of boucle I donít want.  Found more off-white yarn on Ebay, bid for it & got it all for next to nothing, so that should arrive in a few days - yippee (I hope).

19th January: Last week I finally found the visitor counter which I had hidden on one of the pages.  I reset it to nil. According to a Google ranking, I have had 7,000,000 visitors since I first published the website. Just think if each visitor had given me 50 cents!  Whoa!

31st January: A huge box of yarns have arrived on the doorstep.  Purple. Shame my home decor is in either light corals or greens, but there it is - purple has arrived!

2nd Feb: England is in a panic because it snowed last night. I live in the south where it rarely snows - this much snow, 1 whole inch, & the whole area comes to a standstill. The school is closed for a WHOLE WEEK because someone forgot to turn the heating on over the weekend. David left our heating on all night & locked the windows shut - it was so dry indoors that I woke up 3 times gagging for some spit in my mouth.

Itís the first time I have ever seen a cat literally tip-toe over some ice.  Watched them shake their toots when they get them wet, but not tip-toe.

15th March: Bought a whole load of green 2 ply yarn in a wool mix. I donít know what the wool is mixed with but it isnít acrylic. Not thinking, I made the mistake of knitting a blanket with it & some 2 ply acrylic - with the result that the acrylic stretched while the wool didnít.  Another fine mess.

1st May: Am recovering from a virus which really turned on me.  3 years ago when David was away with the fairies in hospital for 5 weeks, he had double-pneumonia & I caught it from him. And this virus almost took me out again - fortunately was able to use an inhaler but nevertheless spent weeks feeling dizzy.  And weak. The only thing I could concentrate on was the computer - couldnít watch tv & didnít dare eat anything but lettuce and bread because everything else irritated my chest.  So far the nearest I have got back to knitting is to tidy up ends of cones using my electric wool winder.  There is NOTHING like an electric wool winder! 

12th May:  Took a couple of photos of me wearing something Iíd made and saw that when I edited the photos my hair was grey - all of it but for the ends which were a light brown/ginger. So I bought some hair dye, mixed it up, was pasting it on when the tube exploded - there we are, punishment for vanity, I spent ages cleaning down the bathroom walls!

17th August: Got lots of ideas but the gardening has to come first.  Been digging holes & planting trees.  Wish there was a zapper to get the trees to grow faster. 

18th September: Dammit - accidentally threw a whole mug of coffee at one of my unfinished afghans. Fortunately I only drink black coffee without milk or suger, but nevertheless I will have to finish the afghan before washing it & that could be a tacky business.  How annoying.

20th October:  I logged into my website server a couple of months ago and saw that for the same price I could have a lot more web space. Have decided that I will branch out into Vintage Crochet & Knitting patterns.  I have so many of them & often wondered what to do with them - loads of Barbie clothes patterns, big doll clothes patterns and cross-stitch & tapestry - and now I have room on my website to offer them as downloads.

26th October: David is going nuts about me being stuck on the computer all day long. I would like to join him watching the tv in the evenings but for Sky offering us repeat after repeat.

November 2009: Junior got hit by a 4x4 people-carrier.  Fortunately he only had a squashed paw & a fractured pelvis - no internal damage.  Cost nearly £300 vet bill.  The Waggy Tails Rescue charity lent me a big cage to keep him inside, indoors, for 4 weeks.

Christmas Day 2009:  I go down with Swine flu. It started off with an hour of aches in my limbs & my skin became sensitive & hurt. After half an hour those problems were replaced with a continual dry cough.   

For the next 6 days I am huddled up in blankets  and drinking coca cola (which I do not particularly like).  I cough non-stop, spend most of the time asleep and feel like half my life has been drained out of me.  I cannot believe how hot I can become and then so incredibly cold within half a minute.

On the Sixth Day, it dawned on me that one of the reasons why I might be feeling a little odd was because since Christmas Day I had only eaten 4 small cans of Mandarin Oranges in Syrup (one-a-day).  I did try eating bread although it tasted so weird that I gave up. I rang the doctor and went to see him to get some antibiotics for my chest infection - unfortunately the dose he gave me turned out to be an overdose & I ended up in hospital on New Years Day.  So - that counted out New Year celebrations as well a Christmas.

I threw away the untouched honey-roast gammon I had made for Xmas, smoked salmon, mince pies, stale cakes & bread, all the fresh vegetables went off, the potatoes in the cupboard got tired of waiting to be eaten and sprouted lots of shoots.  On 5th january 2010 I ate a chocolate which tasted absolutely awful - but, cups of coffee began to taste like coffee (at last). 

Anyway - I managed to finally finish my latest cat afghan and am pleased with the result:

On December 15th a grandaughter was born to my youngest daughter, Thais, named Liliya Joliette.  A very sweet little girl weighing in at 8lbs 2oz. I will meet her for the first time on 25th January when I will no longer be a walking disease. Quite looking forward to it. Not been able to use my knitting machine so I have been crocheting her a jacket & bootees.

19th January 2010: The past few weeks it has been snowing all around the United Kingdom - apart from where we live.  We have had lots of ice and frost, had to keep the heating on all the time, but the only snow we got was for around 1 hour which left such a small amount of snow on the ground that it wasnít even worthy of a photo even though it did hang around for 3 days.  As I was sick with the swine flu throughout those weeks, I rarely left home for more than a few minutes to dash down to the shops, so once again another year has passed in which I didnít get around to wearing a  sweater.

April 2010: Finally bought myself Designaknit 7 Professional.  Not interested in garment design since it is easy enough to follow a pattern. Could come in useful if it became fashionable to position umpteen motifs around a sweater but Iím not sure I can be bothered.  No - my real reason for buying the software is for converting motif patterns into the DAK format for those people who want to download to their machines without any effort.

June 5th 2010: Today I bought a toy poodle puppy approx 5 months old. He is ultra cute - the first thing he did when he got to our home was to yell at the cats.  But they both soon realised how small he is.  Heís come from a family who lived in the city and who had a miniscule garden & a small brat child. All thefirst evening he spent staring out into our large garden and listening to birds singing.  Weíve named him Woofy and this is the photo of him in the advertisement.

He was described as skittish and 2 years old. 

My mother used to breed toy poodles so I know the breed very well - there is NO SUCH THING as a skittish poodle - they are the sweetest most gentle loving dogs there are - from standard down to toy.  Forever playful and pick up all sorts of tricks.
I think someone gave him a rather cock-eyed hair cut around his ears as theyíre of unequal length & the photo is taken from the angle of giving him a fat nose.  He is actually perfect - tiny nose and a sweet face.  Be envious - he is a dream!

 July 2012

Bad day at Black Rock.



Terminologyís when searching for information on the subject of machine knitting:
Knitting, knitting machine, knitting machines, knitting machinery, machine knitting, knitting machinist, knitting club, knitting clubs, sewing & knitting, sewing, hand knitting, jacquard, studio, Brother, brother knitting machine, brother knitting machines, Brother electronic, electric knitting machine, automatic knitting machine, knitmaster, Toyota, silver read, knitking, passap, pfaff, empisal, knitting yarns, coned yarns, KH830, KH836, KH840, KH860, KH881, KH890, KH891, KH950, KH950i KH965, KH965i, KH970, KH865, KH710, KH585, KX395, KH230, KH260, KH900, KH940, KR830, KR850, KR710, Ribber, KL116, Knitleader, FB100, PPD100, PPD110, KA8300, Transfer Carriage, KA8210, Intarsia, Intarsia Carriage, wool winder, lace carriage, punch cards, single bed colour changer, double bed colour changer, electronic knitting machine, DAK, Designaknit, Softbyte.

Terminologies for everything else: Knitting patterns for Sindy clothes, Barbie knitting patterns, Ken clothes, Action Man outfits, knitted dollclothes, babydoll clothes patterns, retro crochet, free crochet patterns, cross-stitch, tapestry, needlepoint, needlecrafts,knitting  cats, cross-stitch balloons, cats on Tree Of Life.  OOAK afghan patterns