Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sometimes only something baked can soothe the soul


Bake a batch of these buttery little French cakes to have with a cup of tea or coffee.
Michel Roux 's  Madelines
Equipment and preparation: You will need a 12-cup madeleine tray.


Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter then shake in a little flour to coat, tapping out the excess.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until frothy. Lightly whisk in the remaining ingredients. Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carefully pouring into the prepared madeleine tray.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has risen a little in the middle and is fully cooked through. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes to cool slightly. These are best eaten within an hour of cooking

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Carpal tunnel syndrome


Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me
It sounds a bit bizarre
But things the way they are
I feel as if another life's begun for me

And if I had a cannon I would fire it
To add a sort of celebration touch
But since I left my cannon at home
I'll simply have to say

Thank you very, very, very much!
Thank you very, very, very much!
My dear blogger friends I think the words from 'Scrooge' sums it up perfectly. I am so glad I posted my request for help .You are all so brilliant and between you some great suggestions where made and I have acted on it. I am overwhelmed by the support and love I feel from you bunch of enormously talented women.
You will be pleased to know I did go to my GP. Lots of test were the order of the day. It seems I may have tunnel carpal syndrome. So, all your suggestions are in fact correct. Gosh , you guys are great
 I thought it might be helpful to link to information about carpal tunnel  in one place for future reference. It can happen to anyone. So firstly, This tells you what  carpal tunnel is. This is what can cause it
My friend Maya recommended this video  and I have to say it is helping. It is really painful to do but I feel re assured that this is common and it will improve.

The wonderful blogger Mereknits suggests this
"The first thing you need to do is rest. I think relaxing the neck/arm muscles is very important. Lie down on your back, no pillow, with your arms relaxed next to your body, palms up. Do this many times a day, I think the floor works best. Stay there a while and do deep breathing to help you relax. Buy wrist splints and wear them all that you can, it gives the wrist stability and prevents wrist flexion which is causing part of the problem. Acupuncture is a blessing and would really help a LOT! Rolling the shoulders backward one at a time very slowly and gently several times a day will help put you in alignment" .
I can vouch this is really helpful and I suggest you do this even if you don't have any pain it is really good to start to learn to relax the muscles.

 I have bought  wrist splits in the past but have not used them as much as I should have hence the really bad pain I have let build up .I now use one for the day and one that I wear at night .I have learnt that most of this is my own fault I should have listened to my body and stopped as soon as I felt the twinge  .
Blogger Jessie's Needles suggests seeing a Bowen technique Practioner .The Bowen Technique is a remedial, hands-on therapy that is applied using very gentle pressure. The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points of the body to perform Bowen’s unique sets of rolling-type moves which stimulate the muscles and soft tissue of the body.  There is no manipulation or adjustment of hard tissue and no force is used.  The experience of a treatment is gentle, subtle and relaxing.  It is believed that the Bowen Technique prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself and clients report the experience of pain relief, improvement of function and recovery of energy .
The wonderful host of the Blooming crochet along Chrissie suggests seeing an osteopath.  The fabulous Vintage Sheet Addict suggests acupuncture.
 Jacqueline  suggests turmeric
"Turmeric is good for inflammation.  I'll infuse a small piece in a cup of warm water with a slice of lemon" Turmeric's natural anti-inflammatory qualities mean it may work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications, without the side effects. I found this article talks about ways of taking it.

After all these suggestions the fabulous Love made my home blogger Amy  suggests
" In the meantime, lots of rest, stretching and exercises to gently keep you moving, and definitely keep yourself occupied.  Thinking about things alone is the worst thing that you can do, read an involving book, do some crochet, watch a film (keep the radio on in the background on a music channel to keep something cheery going on and so that you are not sat in silence at home), go for a walk, make some tea dates with friends at a local café, anything to keep your mind busy as over thinking is not good as you no doubt know"

I have been spoilt rotten and the Mr booked a weekend at a spa  where I  had two sessions of hot stone massage ,if you have not tried it please do it is so relaxing, sheer bliss .We had massage , sauna and sat in a steam room all day followed by a wonderful meal . It helped enormously  and with my tens machine we seem to be making headway.

I have also tried to spend more time in silence, sitting in that sauna simply being quiet, just listening to my heartbeat and trying to concentrate on breathing. The wonderful Cosmos and cotton . has inspired me with her great post about balance.

Amy also recommended I read this blog post.This has been a great help and very inspirational  I think the things she has written  will resonate with, and help others who are maybe going through troubles of their own. We really don't know what people are dealing with on a daily basis in their private lives, do we?? It has helped me get a grip and realise that's things aren't that bad and the light is really just at the end of the tunnel I'm halfway there, so thank you everyone . I love bloggers you all totally rock

Friday, April 04, 2014


remember that silence is sometimes the best answer

The Dalai Lama

Friday, March 28, 2014

When it hurts so bad

 I'm still struggling with my hand and neck .I have been like this for months now.I know I should go back to my GP again but I really cant bear it. You see in the past I have had to get over quite a few major illness ,you know the type that makes you think about who will look after the children when you're gone. I survived that to have a stroke at the tender age of 33.I had to learn to speak again, to stand straight. Learn to walk .Tried to get my brain functioning again . I walk with a stick now .And I forget so many things,It has been such a long and very difficult road. I was then struck with cervical cancer. I am only 44

Everyone at home is angry, frustrated with me because I have refused to go to the doctor and have decided to try and heal myself with a healthier diet and supplements , gentle stretching. I even bought a new hand massaging machine at great cost. The unit looks like two oven gloves that have a vibrating massaging unit and has heat and it feels wonderful not sure it s working but I want to believe in it.

I feel I will be wasting my time at the doctor as all I ever get is that as I have radical treatments my body is fully menopausal, bones are brittle and pain is to be expected .I'm sent of with tramadol and told to rest. If you have ever tried this drug you will know it reduces proper cognitive thoughts. I hate being on this stuff I often cant remember very much. I hate that when everyone comes home one word from me and they ask if I'm on medication.

This is affecting my life . I'm unable to drive the pain is so bad. I cant sleep .My right side fingers hurt dreadfully my arm and neck also. I'm feeling so tearful .I have not left the house at all this week.The Mr begged me to go to the hospital with a pained look in the eyes. Yet, still I refuse to go .I feel a bit of a fraud moaning about this pain after all the major stuff I have had to battle but this is affecting my crafting ,  my cooking and generally me  just being me .I feel a bit of my crafting  side  slipping away daily , What should I do dear friends??? Any suggestions  would be great.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Oysters, lobster,chocolates, crochet

 Some days are just great. I started with 6 oysters yummy, lobster to follow and few bottles of Prosecco

 I received a bunch of gorgeous roses and a box of my favourite  chocolates .It really was a lovely day.

 I ended the evening with a ball of Debbie bliss Cashmerino Aran and played around with a bobble or two all in all a very good evening.

                                              Linking to Chrissie's Blooming along

Friday, March 07, 2014

Blooming Marvellous

Here at HQ, it is blooming marvellous, not much handiwork as my arm neck and wrist are all playing up
 I have been part of the Natural Dye studio Rainbow club for seven months now and this is my gorgeous collection so far. Beautiful isn't it????Goodness me , Amanda and Phil do a fabulous job at dying.
One of my favourite blogs is Knitsofacto and Anne has written a wonderful post about dyeing. It is so very interesting .I often dream of dyeing my own yarn and  have attempted it but it does require a lot of patience and ideally for me a bigger kitchen and outdoor space to dry the yarn. have you tried your hand at dyeing yarn?

 My goodness as much as I am a supporter of independent shops and I support my local high street/ farmer's market as much as I can. I have to admit I don't think anyone can walk away from a pot of tete a tete daffodils for £1.00 and a bunch of normal daffs for 99p .

                                                                  I love a bargain

Friday, February 28, 2014

My secret garden

I live in an apartment with the most boring views. I don't have  a garden . I grow a few herb pots that sit on the smallest strip they call a balcony .That's  why I spent so much of my time admiring all my blogger friends lives filled with glorious views.
 I have to drive to parks to enjoy some greenery and in central London they are really hard to find. They keep building So with all that I think you can all understand why my house is filled with yarn.I know why I have a yarn garden . My cupboard are fit to burst with beautiful, colourful blooms would you like a little walk with me into my  yarn garden??
Would you like to see just a few of my favourites ??
This gorgeous jade green yarn is
Madelinetosh Pashmina  a superb 3-ply yarn made up of 75% superwash merino wool, 15% silk and 10% cashmere, a similar fibre blend to the infamous woven pashmina scarves.
This machine washable yarn is hand-dyed in small dye lots and knits up to create a soft fabric with great drape. Absolutely gorgeous!

content :: 75% superwash wool, 15% silk and 10% cashmere
length :: 360 yards / 329 meters

                One skein  Peace, Love & Misti - Hand Paint Sock Yarn
and one skein
                                         Misti Alpaca - Tonos Carnival 4 Ply                                   


Gorgeous hand painted 4ply (fingering) sock yarn.
Peace, Love & Misti Alpaca represents the finest yarns from Misti's private hand paint studio in Peru. All collections from  Misti's hand paint studio carry this special label, representing Miguel's commitment to preserving the artistry of hand paint yarns and his mission to provide good jobs and fair wages and benefits to the people of his hometown, Arequipa. So soft and gorgeous to work with. I have since bought more

Composition: 50% Super Fine Alpaca, 30% Fine merino Wool, 10% Silk and 10% Nylon for durability
Weight and yardage: Approx. 100g - 398m / 436yds



 These five Skeins are Wollemeise
I found out about  Wollmeise yarn on Ravelry and it has became an international hit  Apparently,  the high demand couldn't be met with a steady stock. The online shop had weekly updates  where the shop would be stocked once a week and thousands of people were trying to snatch up a precious skein of Wollmeise. It's been a crazy race .I finally managed to get hold of these from Loop GB, you can  still only get this by going to the shop demand is to high that they still cannot sell online as soon as it comes in , its gone.
I am not sure how I feel about this yarn.  I have crocheted the peacock coloured one and I didn't find it very special at all. I think it might look better knitted .In crochet the colour pooled in the wrong way, it just didn't look right. I did not find it soft. I found it rather tough if I'm honest. I suppose they will be suitable for socks. However, I'm one of those people that likes my socks to be soft. I have only played with one skein that was 80% merino 20% nylon and I do have different composition so I will not condemn the brand .

                                                        Claudia Hand Painted Yarn
These beautiful Teal colour yarn is 100% silk, it has a generous 1000m .It is a discontinued yarn , it is so beautiful and will one day to be a delightful rectangular shawl.

Skein Queen's Five-4-Silver. It contains  silver stellina thread that adds a lovely sparkle
Lotus Yarn Cashmere. I love this yarn and have quite a lot of colours in this .It is 100% cashmere and my goodness it is divine.

          Habu carries unusual and difficult to find fine yarns from small mills in Japan and Asia
The collection is pretty amazing.  I love the green cotton gima. This is a cotton, which feels like paper. “Gima” literally means “fake linen” in Japanese.  I made  cardigan in this fibre  in black it is very rough almost like working with raffia ,but the beauty of this yarn is once it is washed it becomes incredibly soft like soft silk linen.  

The red yarn is Habu Textiles Tsumugi Silk. This is a silk, which feels like cotton ,very textured and wonderful to work with. I made a sarong with it and I wear I every time I go away it is a wonderful fiber


If the colours lure knitters to Malabrigo, the soft fibres reel them in. Malabrigo uses extremely soft Merino fibres for most of its yarns. The fibres are spun loosely enough to keep a marvellous halo and decadent softness that really does feel like you're knitting with butter. I love this yarn. It is one of my favourites

                                                I think you can tell I lovvvve Malabrigo
                           Juno Alice Lace                                 
                                      Content: 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere
                                                Approx 800m/874 yards per 100g skein
            Fabulous lace weight lambswool from Jade Sapphire that's machine washable. This is so soft
                                    Weight and yardage: Approx. 60g - 754m / 825yds

                                    KPPPM - Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino  
An exquisite fingering weight (4 ply) yarn  Beautifully soft. This finely spun merino wool is handpainted in small batches of colour-packed skeins. When knit or crocheted, the colours create a beautiful fabric of speckles and streaks.

Each dye lot of Koigu's Painter's Palette is an individual creation and there are no two dye lots exactly the same with this yarn I recommend, as with all hand-dyed yarns, that you knit with two skeins, alternating every few rows for improved colour blending. Love this stuff.
                                                    Composition: 100% merino wool
                                    Weight and yardage: Approx. 50g - 160m / 175yds
                                                Lovely Drop Safran Egyptian cotton
I like the Drops range it is very good value for money .This only cost £8.10 for 800m .It is 30% silk, 70% Alpaca from woolwarehouse  it is also very good quality, It comes in a wonderful range of colours
                                                                  Everyone loves Noro
                             I will end on these beautiful green from Fyberspates, delicious stuff
                                                              I hope you enjoyed the views.
         Joining in today with the lovely Chrissie and Marianne for their 'Blooming Crochet-A-Long'