and an amazing new year!!!


for Mum

heat bag - red

Mum’s very special heat bag for Christmas, with owls for wisdom and red because Mum loves red (and owls!).

heat bags – WIP

heat bags

In preparation for Xmas…

Mum and Dad – WIP

Mum and Dad

Mum and Dad’s Xmas presents are on the needles… Socks! The dreaded present (usually from old aunts) will this year come from their beloved daughter! The socks are part of a nice but small pack of other handmade or custom made things! I hope they like it (and I sincerely hope they fit)!

local is better


A while ago I started thinking about how good it would be to buy all my vegetables and fruit from local farmers. This would certainly diminish my carbon foot print, but it would also make me more creative in the kitchen, as you end up only having in season produce. A bit of research and I discovered Abel and Cole. Now, Abel and Cole are not local to Oxford, but they source all the veggies and fruit (and meat, if you so wish) they deliver to me within Oxfordshire. They do the same for any other area they deliver to. At the time of my research, I did come across local farms that provide a similar service, but Abel and Cole had a huge advantage over them – they allow you to pick a couple of things you hate and that should never come with your order! Now, I hate leeks, truly can’t stand it, not even in soup; those of you in the UK will know how popular this vegetal is around here and every farm seems to have it in their veggie boxes – it just so happens it’s in season. So, all things considered, I went with Abel and Cole.. My very first box arrived last Tuesday – delicious vegetables and fruit that I’ve had the pleasure to be cooking with for the past week; inside the box, you can also find a few recipes (I love this bonus!). Now you think, all good! BUt it gets better – Friday I get a call from Abel and Cole checking I was pleased with the service, if all the items were in good condition, if the box had been dropped off at the right place (you don’t need to be home to colect it!), if there was anything else I wanted, to inform me I would be receiving a free box after 3 weeks of consecutive orders…! I felt so very old-fashioned for loving this extra care in customer service, but I truly did love the attention! Yes, Abel and Cole, there is something else I want – that all customer service is like yours! Thank you!

of needles and trekking

Second pair of socks WIP

This sock is the first to be finished (no photos of the accomplishment yet!), from the pattern by Rosa Pomar, with Trekking XXL 147 bought here. Although the pattern is very clear and I would recommend it to all Portuguese speakers, I still ended up with 2 tiny holes on the heel (need to perfect my technique) and I’m sure the toe wasn’t supposed to be done like I’ve done it (I’m under the impression I cheated a bit!, but can’t see where I messed up). In any case, it looks lovely (photo later).

It is addictive, I tell you! And now I’m facing such a hard dilemma – explore other patterns! Doesn’t seem like a dilemma at all, I know, but if you consider it takes me ages to finish one sock… I’ll have to wait at least 2 weeks before being able to explore and see the results of a new pattern! So I’m thinking that maybe letting this sock be an only child for a bit is not so bad… or is it? Needles, I need more needles of the same size, so I can have at least 2 patterns going on at the same time!

first socks

first socks finished

I had been thinking about sock knitting for ages, but actually seeing the handmade socks of Crafty Doula and Claire gave me the motivation to get 2 (yes, not just one!) sock knitting kits. This sock is the proud product of kit one. Kit two will come shortly (?). Have to say – this thing is very, and I mean very, addictive! I can’t stop now, not even at pub quizzes!!