With a new year ahead of us, I was hoping it was going to be a great one, after years of stress, bad luck, bad health and fear, that has consumed our lives for as long as I can remember. With a positive mindset and goals in place, I was more than ready to face the year with open arms. 2019 has so far, had very different plans for us.
I started the new year in pain and feeling pretty damn groggy from an infection. With that slowly fading and beginning to feel almost human, I had a little op which has left me in pain for weeks. I knew I would take longer to heal than what I call the norm, but seriously I under estimated the time it would take and the pain I would be in.
I’ve always had the outlook to just get on with life the best I can, which I desperately tried my hardest to do, but the pain and swelling had different ideas. Thankfully the swelling has subsided and the pain is now manageable, thank goodness but all in all, it was not the best start to the new year, it’s still early days so fingers crossed it can only get better.
January did have it’s good moments. Our first born, Connor, turned 20, I can’t believe I have a 20 year old.
He has had the worst two years, of his life, so getting to his 20th and achieving all he has achieved over the last 6 or so months is a pretty damn wonderful. I couldn’t be more proud of him. With all the torment he has encouraged, he’s turned out pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. He’s extremely hard working, kind and funny, so, so funny. He lightens our world, as does his younger Brother Calum.
They are our biggest achievement and I’m proud as punch, to call them our boys.
I finally got to see my diabetes nurse, who was pretty pleased with me, which was the boost I needed. I’m on the right path to managing and controlling my diabetes through diet, which is great as I don’t really fancy taking anymore medications.
Sure I have bad days, were food torments me and my willpower slides but I want to do this, I need to do this, not only for my health but also my mind.
It’s been so long since I had any control over my health. Just having a little control over either feeling worse physically by eating poorly or eating well and taking the power back. I know which one I would rather. Eating healthy wins hands down.
Although it’s not the cheapest to eat a no carb, no sugar diet, it’s worth it even if it means cutting back in other areas. It’s not right that it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy than it is to eat healthy!
My Mum, Auntie Jan and I, decided to make a diabetic cake, as I’m crazy about a my mums fluffy Victoria sponge cake. How I miss how mouthwatering delicious it is.
Seriously, hours after we started scanning the web for a recipe, we found one that looked half decent and wanted to try. We decided to make two different cakes as a trail.
One would be made from my Mums scrummy recipe, cutting the sugar amount by half and using Salvia, to make up the difference. This turned out really good and tasted like cake. 🧁
We or should I say Mum, made a diabetic lemon drizzle cake, using yogurt and salvia.
All I can say is, we wouldn’t be making that in hurry, its enough to turn even the biggest cake lover against cake. 🍰 Good try though Mum and thank you for giving up your day trying.
It’s been a great month for family research.
It hasn’t been the case of finding new information but more the case of connecting with long lost distant relatives.
While re-researching Andrew Porter, my 4th Great Grandfather, who you can read all about tomorrow, I joined the Facebook, Isle of Wight History Society, group and posted one of my favourite photographs of our, Sweet relatives.
Within a few hours, I had discovered two new family members and seen two wonderful photographs of my, 3rd Great-Grandmothers, Jane Gibbs and Emily Forehead, which was pretty damn amazing. Thank you Louise and Tanya.
Over the next few days, Louise told me all about her Great, Great- Grandmother, Ethel Mary Porter, my 3rd Great Aunt, Daughter of Jane Gibbs and Isaac Porter. Louise also confirmed that our Isaac Porter, my 3rd Great- Grandfather, Louise’s Great, Great-Grandfather, was indeed a smuggler.
She even sent me a photo of a necklace that was passed down to her, through the generations. It’s all so very exciting I could burst.
You can read all about, Isaac Porter, here.
After seeing the faces of my 3rd Great-Grandmothers, it really is uncanny how much my Grandad, George Frederick Townsend, looks like them.
I’ve also learnt, that rumours has it, our Townsend ancestors were Highwaymen.
That’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to finding the time to delve deeper into their history and find proof of our families mischievous ways.
Life and health really does have a habit of getting in the way of my crochet and January did just that, I have however managed a few small projects but not half as much as I wanted to achieve.
I’ve made or made a start on the following project
After many lovely comments about how much people liked my first Twisted Granny, I just had to start another. The colour possibility’s are endless but I chose to use a bright colour pallet, which I may just like a little bit more than my first colour pallet. I’ve only made the test Square so far but I kinda loving it.
- Dragon Belly Shawl by Johanna Lindahl 🐉
I kept seeing photos of the Dragon Belly shawl popping up on Instagram and have wanted to make it for a while now. In full honesty shawls make me nervous. I have only made a few before and for some unknown reason they make my confidence flutter. I have to say that Johanna’s, Dragon Belly Shawl, is so easy even a totally newbie could make it.
I decided to use my go to yarn, Stylecraft Special Double Knit, in the colour Mustard. I have never worn mustard before, I’m a black and red kinda girl but mustard has been pulling me in, for few months now and I’ve been desperately wanting to find the perfect pattern. Johanna’s Dragon Belly shawl was just that.
My only what if, kinda thought is, I wish I had either used an Aran or chunky yarn but overall I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. It really does look like how I imagine a dragons belly would look.
I made 88 rows and then made two of the three border rounds and it took my roughly 4 long afternoons to make. I used 2.5 skeins of the 3 skeins I brought for the project, costing £5.55.
I then undertook a new challenge of making the, Quicksilver Shawlette, by Tamara Kelly from mooglyblog.com, a most pleasurable pattern to make.
I used yarn from my stash in two colours, Paintbox Simple Aran, in Slate Grey and Stylecraft Special Aran, in Cream.
After a good old block, I think she’ll look pretty nice and definitely would like to make another in a more expensive yarn.
I’m ashamed to say, that I’ve hardly picked Havana up throughout the long old month of January. I only managed to get a few rows made. But that’s ok, it was always going to be a long winded project that I will work on while needed a break from other projects.
- Mountain Ridges Hat, by Kali Dahle, using Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, in the colour, Moonstone. This is still by far my favourite yarn. 🧶
- Easy All HDC Beanie by Breann Mauldin, using Paintbox Simple Chunky, in 301 Pure Black and 306 Granite Grey
- Spiral Messy Bun Hat by Littlejohn’s Yarn, in Scheepjes Namaste, in Eagle.
I made this one for myself and OMG, Namaste is a dream to work with. I so very much wish to make a blanket out of it. I best get saving some pennies. (Hint hint, I have a birthday coming up, lol)
- Primrose & Proper Super Scarf, by, Kirsten Holloway, using Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran, in 207 Vanilla Cream.
What a delightful pattern and so pretty.
For Mums Nuts About DNA Afghan, I’ve made.
- Popcorn Hearts Afghan Square by Julie Yeager
- Lola Bean by Shelby Shea
- Joyful Afghan Square, By Tamara Kelly, at Moogly
- Anticipation Mystery Afghan 12″ block by Margaret MacInnis.
- Festive Julie Ann Square by Linda Dean.
I had to make a few extra rounds to get this square up to size and a stitch count of 44 hdc on all 4 sides.
And finally, I started a Granny Square Lapghan, which I’m calling, Loopy stitch Lapghan. I’m not sure what my final plans are yet but it will be made up of different Granny squares by different designers. So far I’ve made,
- Joyful Afghan Square (details above)
- Festive Julie Ann Square by Linda Dean.
I had to make a few extra rounds to get this square up to size and a stitch count of 44 hdc per side.
- The Framed Lilliana Square.
Last year, I started making the Lilliana Afghan by Vanessa at Hooked on Sunshine. I only completed part one of the crochet along and for some unknown reason I didn’t complete it. It’s so pretty and wanted to do something with the centre mandala, so I decided to try and square it up and make it into a square to add to my, Loopy Stitch Lapghan.
I’ve named her, “The Framed Lilliana Square” and here she is.
All details about how I turned Lilliana into a square, can be found here.
This month is such an easy one. Hands down, Bonnie Barker, Celtic Diamond Wrap, has my tummy turning with excitement.
The Celtic Diamond Wrap will be hosted as a crochet along. The Crochet Along will be 3 weeks long and will be available on the Crochet World Facebook page beginning on January 23. Videos will be posted on, January 23rd, 30th and February 6th at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Bonnie will also host a Facebook Live event to answer your questions.
Why not grab yourself a copy of February 2019 issue of Crochet World Magazine and join in the fun.
I’m so excited. I love cable blankets, hats, Scarfs, etc, etc. Maybe it has something to do with my Irish and Scottish roots but I’ve always been drawn to them.
Bonnie is the master of cables, her talent is beyond outstanding and her patterns are to die for.
You can find more of her patterns on Ravelry, YouTube, Facebook and of course her website.
Before I sign off, our Con, has just started his own YouTube channel, I would really appreciate it if you popped on over and shared the love.
You can find him here.
Until next time have a good February and I’ll hopefully see you back here soon.