Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The power of the written word

Father Christmas was no doubt delighted that my children broke up earlier than many, because the first task of the holiday (or so I was informed), was to write their letter to Father Christmas.

No doubt all parents can imagine my panic of what I might now hear, but I agreed to take the dictation.

My daughter's request was singular, reasonable and predictable.  My son, left me speechless.

'I want a chicken'
eh?, what?
'I want a chicken to take to bed'

Well, this wasn't my problem it was Father Christmas', so i wrote the letter, they sealed the envelope and posted it.

I could sympathise with Father Christmas, after all I, like him, live in a remote rural location with few shops, but at least he has elves.

poultry in motion
On Christmas Eve, we met Father Christmas in Dolgellau Grotto, and he appeared to not have read the letter as his response was the same as mine...eh? what?

but no doubt the elves had read it, because on Christmas morning there by the side of the stocking, sat a little chicken.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pinterest - are you interested?

Have you discovered Pinterest? 

Pinterest is my craft scrapbook, but you can make it what you want.  It very cleverly allows you to grab photos from the web and 'pin' them on your boards.

It has taken me a while to discover some of the gagets, but you can create your own titles for your boards, pin from other peoples boards and even follow people.

Personally I would love to keep my boards private (which isn't an option - or at least not one I have figured out). But to me the benefits far outweigh the intrusion into my mind!

Currently, I want to make a bag somewhere between my mini bucket bag and my messenger bag.  I can't think of a shape I want, so I have been on the web hunting for inspiration. Unfortunately I appear to be far more interested in colour than shape, but no doubt when I look at the board in a week or so one of the bags will give me a starting point.

So there you go, a quick summing up of what pinterest is, and why it might benefit you!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

WOYWW - craft fairs don't you just love 'em?

The fall out from a craft fair
I had to go and look at my desk to see what was on it.  Yep it feels so long since I was last there.

I was working there on Thursday night, and stacking boxes on it on Monday morning, but I just couldn't remember.

So this is the chaos left after a craft fair. Jewellery display stands to put away, boxes of stuffing to empty, so that Polly Polkadot bags can be safely stored away from the dust.  Oh and in the background, can you spot my cash bag, a trip to the bank too - yippee!

Short and sweet today to help you have time to visit everyone else at Stamping Grounds What's on your workbench Wednesday.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Handmade Monday - Treble clef earrings

Hello Handmade Monday - I'm back!  I'm sure you didn't miss me, but I missed you xxx

Well I just about survived last week, but only managed one day of my two day National Trust Craft Fair.  A migraine caught up with me on Saturday evening.  I don't suffer from stress migraines, I suffer from relief migraines!

(Yes I made it on time to every event on time, children suitably dressed (including allowing my son to drop off his sister at the ballet party dressed as lion, just because everyone else was dressed up), attended school plays, sent my cakes to the Christmas fair, and made enough wirework jewellery for the Craflwyn National Trust Christmas Fair, set up my stall on time, looked at my stall thought 'phew' and then the migraine saw its opportunity.)

Craft fairs are funny events, there you sit with all your wares on display and yet it always takes me by suprise when someone asks me 'is it handmade?'.  So I take my pliers and some wire.  It is also quite a liberating time, as I never have enough time and tools to make something from start to finish, so I fiddle, and fiddling with wire can have some interesting results.
Matching treble clef earrings!

On Saturday I set about making a treble clef earrings.  I managed the first treble clef with surprising ease, but it took most of the day before I managed a matching one!  I attached them to their earwires this morning.  Now to upload them to my shop, to match the treble clef necklace.  And then off for a trip round everyone else at HM.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Is it Christmas or something?

Just a quick update as to my absence from the blog world this week.

As I'm sure you are aware a mother spends her life just walking the edge of sanity and insanity.  And it doesn't take much to try and push us over the edge.

This year, Dolgellau has decided to organise all Christmas events early.


Well it would have been if they hadn't all fallen this week.

I coped with the strike day, the ballet Christmas party, today is school play (2 productions), tomorrow is school fair, and then to top it all I had extra dog walking duties this week, and a National Trust Fair this weekend.  So you may, or may not see me next week!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WOYWW - Everything again

It is all there!
What a mess again!

Well, truth is that I have been working up at the house rather than the studio at the bottom of the garden, so this is everything 'dumped' back on the workbench.  You see the house has the mod-cons of a wood burning stove, the studio by contrast has a noisy electric blow heater.

As you can see from all the pliers I have returned to the wirework jewellery.  I managed to fill my bracelet bar, by Friday morning.

But on the way I got a little distracted.  I started out making a bracelet but I had enough beads to just keep on going....
So a wirework bead necklace it is then!
Now those of you in the know, I have revealed all this because today is Wednesday.  For those of you not in the know, today is What's on your workbench Wednesday (WOYWW) over at stamping ground.  Pop over and take a look.

And finally, I know it is a long shot, but does anyone want to rent a house in Llanbrynmair? Or alternatively do 52 of you fancy a weeks holiday in Llanbrynmair?!!  Ah well, it was worth trying.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Handmade Monday - wirework bracelets

Last Wednesday I showed off the jasper stone and wirework bracelet I had made, but I didn't currently have anything else on the bracelet bar so this week I have been paying attention to that.

First I fixed up a few beads to make a glass bead braclet design I have made before.

Next I tried out similar beads with a greek key design.  The greek key, needs to be smaller and neater in my opinion, but as a first attempt I am quite happy.
Greek key wirework - I think the technique needs some perfecting!

And with a few other designs that I shall keep under wraps for now, I suddenly had a full bar for the Christmas fair that my wirework jewellery attended without me on Friday.  (I don't know how the fair went, as I have yet to collect my stall).

Do you know why I take part in Handmade Monday?  Of course I enjoy your company, but it isn't that, its that I need a little discipline in my chaotic life and having a Monday deadline helps me remember the day of the week. Give it up for Monday whoaoooooo. (Please see Cbeebies if you need help with the tune!)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Children in Need - life as a crafty Mum

I just thought you would like to know one of the many forms of insanity that afflicts crafting mums.

Friday was Children in Need Day. At my daughter's school the pupils were offered a choice of spots or fancy dress.

I knew her choice as soon as I read the note aloud.  6 times she has been allowed fancy dress, 5 times she has worn the princess dress and on 1 occasion I persuaded her to go as a pirate.

Now, a sane mother would think - great, all I have to do is wash the dress in time.

A crafting mum? Well they start thinking - she could go as anything she likes... she just has to choose.

Raggles the rabbit, and Rosie
So on Thursday she choose Rosie, from Everything's Rosie.  So there I was on Thursday night, in bed sewing a hairclip onto her wig.

I don't claim it to be a great costume, but 1 hours work and a 5 year old and her friends were convinced it was Rosie.

Rosie - appears to be a little worse for wear, at the end of the day!

As I'm sure you could have predicted, her brother was not impressed, when I didn't produce a Raggles costume.  However I managed to fob him off with a brown dressing gown with rabbit ears included!

But I have made a mental note that next fancy dress day she can go as a princess

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WOYWW - 101 Dalmation Jasper Beads

This is a tidy desk - for me at least

Well there it is in all its glory, my lovely, tidy desk.  The weekly cycle of my desk can, I'm sure be guessed. Tidy, messier, messy, chaos, blitz and begin again. And just at the moment, the tidy stage appears to be falling on a Wednesday!

I shouldn't really be working on these jasper beads, but once I spotted them in my bead drawer they just kept shouting at me.

The trouble is, now that I have finished that bracelet, I need to make a few new designs to fill my bracelet bar, else it won't get an outing to any craft fairs, so I've put them in my gift shop just in case.

So there we have it, another week of Whats on your workbench Wednesday (WOYWW) and another week of me trying to stay in control of my life and my workbench!  Pop over to Julia's and see who else is under a mountain of beads and wire, or paper piles and stamps.

N.B. I wrote the post then realised they weren't dalmation jasper beads, but I can't for the life of me remember what they are, so the title can stay!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Handmade Monday - core values

Well I could claim today is Monday, but in truth its Tuesday morning. That sentence just about sums up my last week, always just a little behind. 

However I have filed all outstanding paperwork, paid the two overdue bills I found amongst it, and I have made a mental note of the other financial issues that must be discussed in the household before the week is out!

Life is all about that really, its there to be enjoyed but don't forget to do the regular stuff too. 

I love bending and twisting the wire into new shapes for my wirework jewellery, but it is important not to forget the steady sellers too.
Rustic crucifix hung on cotton cord

I class my hammered crucifix as a steady seller.  Stocks were down to their minimum so I sat down this week and set about making a few for the approaching Christmas fairs.  Its not a chore, I enjoy making them, but my mind thinks that I would prefer to make something new!

To satisfy the adventurous side of my brain, I put one on a silver plated chain to see what it would look like.  It totally changes the rustic appearance of the cross but it works quite well.
Rustic crucifix hung on silver plated necklace

So I'm sure you have already done this, but if not, pop over to Wendy's place and take a look at everyone involved in this weeks Handmade Monday.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WOYWW - Very very little...

Fabric free zone, jewellery making to the fore!

Regular visitors will know that today (Wednesday) I take part in Whats on your workbench Wednesday, hosted by Julia at Stamping Ground .  What regular visitors also know is that my desk is always a mess.

Well, surprise! On Monday I cleared away my sewing machine and all its accessories (can fabric really be called an accessory? I think necessity is better term.), and found my workbench underneath.

a very empty bracelet bar
The reason for this sudden burst of tidiness, is that I need to get making more wirework jewellery.  I need to make up a few silver plated crucifixes.

Then I noticed my empty bracelet bar and began scheming about making a new dalmation jasper bracelet with a matching necklace.

Funny isn't it, sometimes I make a piece of hammered jewellery and it is a complete one off, sometimes I want to repeat it and then lots of times I just want to change a little bit here, and a little bit there.
Mango Pango, jewellery anvil, dalmation jasper

And finally, the eagle eyed of you, will have spotted Mango-Pango bear sat on the jewellery anvil.  I kept my promise and returned him to full fitness last night.  He seemed quite pleased until I tried to take him back to the children's room at which point he began shouting expletives at me.  Something about them not knowing how to treat a bear of his standing in the community.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Handmade Monday - Bear essentials

one job completed, one to go
Handmade Monday is a day to celebrate your weeks achievements (because there isn't a lot of achievements to celebrate in mine!).

I have not adjusted my mind to crossing the garden to the studio, since the clocks have changed.  After all, I now have to dress up warmly and take a torch.

So this week all I feel I have worth showing is my bargain purchase and my guilty find.

Mango-Pango bear is sat on a pair of curtains I bought for £3 in a charity shop.  They are too long for the window, no problem I thought still a bargain.  Of course when I got home, I realised I didn't have the right coloured thread.  It has taken me 1 month to travel the 19 miles to the nearest haberdashery to buy the thread.

Anyway, tonight I not only finished the hemming, but I also tidied my desk (look out on Wednesday for WOYWW to see if it has stayed that way).  And there, under all the usual mess I found Mango-Pango bear.  Mango-Pango was passed to me for a bit of TLC but I forgot all about him, but then, so I think have my children.

I solemnly promise that Mango-Pango will have two legs attached before I go to sleep tonight.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WOYWW - Tasting Day

It is getting worse!
Today is what's on your workbench Wednesday, and believe it or not, there is a workbench under there somewhere!

I removed my Polly Polkadot jewellery and bags from the RSPB craft fair on Monday, and I appear to have just dumped it in my corner.  Actually I'll have you know I have tidied it into that arrangement, I just don't know what to do with it next!

I really do need to make a decision about my storage problems, because I have a pair of curtains just out of sight that need hemming.

In my life away from this workbench I have been baking, (please read Mondays post if you need to be filled in, or have forgotten already), and today was tasting day.
I did consider photographing todays newspaper alongside, in case you don't trust me - but I don't buy newspapers!
So at 7.03 this evening I cut into the Tomato and Raisin Loaf...
First let me rename it: Tomato and Raisin Cake.
I think if you didn't know the name, you would say something like 'a pleasant, moist, light fruit cake' (I just double checked with OH, and he says 'more like a pleasant moist not too sweet tea loaf')

But I can't get over the issue that it has got Tomatos in it, surely that makes it savoury?

I think I felt the same when I first tried carrot cake, and courgette cake so maybe I just have to think about it for a few days.

I was wondering whether I should bake another, slice it up, seal it in poly bags and post it out to you all, that way it could mature in the post, and then you could tell me what you think. Any takers?!!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Handmade Monday - trying something new

Well it is time again for Handmade Monday, the opportunity to see what great ideas other people in the crafting world have been having.

By contrast in this house we are still suffering a little from the lurgy - and the walk to the bottom of the garden at 7pm to make wirework jewellery seemed a very long one, so I settled down with a hot water bottle!

Despite my aversion to Halloween, I did buy a pumpkin this weekend which the children set about with relish. OH was tasked with carving the face and between them I think they did a very good job.
 I allowed my children to use the pumpkin as a nightlight when they went to bed -I won't bore you with the H & S precautions I took, but I think they might have been noted, because within two minutes of leaving the bedroom, I was called back 'when will you blow it out?'
'when you are both asleep, oh, and your brother is already asleep',
I left the room, just sat down on the chair in the room next door
' mum, I'm asleep now'!
so I went in blew out the candle and I never heard another sound!

Alongside this I thought I should try a new recipe.  In my cookbook is a recipe for tomato and raisin loaf, sounds nice doesn't it?  Probably lovely warm with soup?  But oddly at the end at the end, it says, ' store in an airtight tin for 2-3 days, before slicing'.  This has been bugging me, and today it got the better of me, I just had to bake it.
Tomato and raisin loaf

Now I just have to wait until Wednesday to announce the results!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

WOYWW - It WAS tidy, it really WAS

What's on your workbench Wednesday?
I tidied up, put all the fabric into piles (classified as: bag sized, small bag sized, handle sized and scraps (you never know when you will need those scraps)).
Cleared the desk with the exception of the sewing machine, and then... I let my children in the room.

They wanted to play buttons.  In my daughters case this is threading buttons onto a necklace, in my sons case this is driving a bus along an obstacle course of buttons ( I didn't stereotype my children, they have managed it all by themselves!).

Now to achieve these games you need the button board - a green board that has been dumped on my side of the room, with a small rim all the way around that stops buttons from escaping.
Unfortunately this was underneath all my fabric, so off it all came, and the best place to put it was back on my desk.
Would you believe I even did some sewing on it last night - yep even in that state!

I'm off to desk hop with WOYWW , but I've been relegated to the old computer, and I don't think blogger is letting me comment from this one, but we will see...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Handmade Monday Bucket Bag

Well what have I been up to this week?  Handmade Monday always helps me see what I have achieved each week - but in truth I'm beginning to realise I may have been on a work avoidance for the last few weeks.  You see I'm still playing with fabric when in truth I should be back at the jewellery drawing board by now!

So here is my final make with fabric.  I really wanted to make a bucket bag in minature, I think it is more of a flower pot bag!
just 20cm across and 15cm tall!

Or perhaps a cup cake shape.

My wirework jewellery along with my newly completed bags are at the RSPB Ynys-hir craft fair.  This runs for a fortnight in the Visitor Centre - you set up your table and then leave it for the staff to run. 

Way back in April or May I decided I couldn't do craft fairs and ensure childcare so I have only done a couple of events since then.  But what have I been missing out on?

Talk about a moral boost!  I couldn't set up my table as other crafters kept dismantling it to inspect things!  I eventually came away with a bag commission but on a very big high!

By Saturday morning my emotions came crashing back down to earth - I have lived in Wales since 1993, and I am mad on sport, so my Saturday morning was organised around THE GAME (rugby world cup semi-final to you disinterested others).

Fairbourne beach
However Saturday afternoon allowed me a reality check of what is really important in life, and I spent a wonderful hour at the beach with my OH, and two children, and reminded myself that it really was the 15th of October!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

WOYWW - Back to bad habits.

I seem to have lots of un-answered questions from last weeks post for Whats on your workbench Wednesday.  So I will try to keep this brief, but I'm sure I will slip into bad habits.

Oh good grief - why can't I see the chaos when I'm there, it is only in the photos that I spot it!
I am always looking for new ways to display my jewellery, I've even experimented with beer bottles in an attempt to attract / keep more men at my stall.  What ever I do, colour seems to be the key.

On Saturday Polly Polkadot jewellery will be at RSPB Ynys-hirs annual craft fair.  It runs for a fortnight, and I just have to set up my stall and then the staff run the shop and take a commission at the end.

So what am I doing with all that fabric? Well, I thought I would make a few bags to go on my stall.  But then I realised the shoulder bags are too big.  So now I have two stalls at the craft fair: Polly Polkadot jewellery and Polly Polkadot Textiles!

Did I buy the cloth labels for the bags? No I decided not to make more than a few bags, and then immediately set about making hundreds!

Poor light sewing at night? I don't start sewing until the children go to bed (7pm), so I just have to cope with the lighting!

The Pfaff machine? I could probably dedicate a whole blog to my Pfaff machine.  My parents bought it when I started my GCSE Textiles at 14 (yep, I am qualified to make a bag!), and when I left home, they gave the machine to me. 
Last night saw me with the instruction manual as I could not remember how to make the needle sit on the left hand side of the foot - no doubt tonight I will have to read it again to put it back.

Not too long?  Well certainly an earlier post than usual for me (OH home sick, so he can look after the youngest whilst I sit at the computer).

Monday, 10 October 2011

Handmade Monday - the herbal option

Well, I had a great idea last week.  I would plan my Handmade Monday posting well in advance, this would not only mean I could get my photos taken in the daylight of the weekend, I could write the blog on Sunday night too.  Heck I might even try out the timed posting option.

Well?  Do I need to bother telling you what really happened? Lets face it, you know me by now!  So here we are at 8.30pm Monday.

Herb Shopping Bag
This week I have been a bag lady. I have made three types of bag, but today I am only revealling my herb shopper bag.  I thought it would give me a warm up routine before embarking on more complicated patterns.

The lining
A lined shopper includes all the options you need on a more challenging bag, but in a less confined working environment.  I pressed my seams, turned my handles, practised my edge stitching (still up to standard), double stitched the stress areas, and fitted my lining.  Before awarding myself the 'Fit to Continue' Award and moved on to my next shape!

I am currently in the process of re-stocking the range at Polly Polkadot and decided to return to textiles myself.  I am hoping over the next few weeks to manage to keep both the Polly Polkadot website and Handmade Monday up to date with my progress (if you see me beginning to talk about gardening etc. you'll know I'm avoiding work)! 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WOYWW - Keeping it simple

Last week at Whats on your workbench Wednesday hosted by stamping ground, Julia reminded us all to keep it brief.  So with this in mind here goes:
The clock has its own time zone, it was in fact around 9 pm, see the darkness at the window?

Sewing machine still taking centre stage, as I try to jusify all that outlay on fabric that has been going on for the last few months.

Right back in May I bought this fabric for myself, and I had plenty of suggestions from my blogging friends as to what I should make.  However I passed it over to Polly Polkadot instead and made the predicatable shopper bag.  But most definately with an elves and shoemaker attitude...when I sell one, I can buy  a few more pieces of fabric!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

WOYWW - Best to close your eyes again!

Last week I failed to publish my post for Handmade Monday because my card reader had gone walkabout.  On Wednesday I decided that you could just try and imagine the state of my desk from my description.  So here is this weeks submission to Whats on your workbench Wednesday - the weekly opportunity to have a good old nosey!

The card reader has been returned, so the full horror of my desk can be revealed.
Phew, you can't spot my binoculars, I can't think why they are on my desk

I've been fiddling about with ideas, sometimes jewellery and sometimes sewing, so my desk is dedicated to neither!

I've finally discovered a way to have an area clear for cutting out fabric - I've taken to errecting and more importantly taking down a pasting table.  Because I put the table down, no-one has time to leave anything on it.  This means at a moments notice I can start working on a sewing idea, but the state of my desk is suffering because of it!
Here is just a small selection of the fabric I have been buying from shops and charity shops mentioned in last weeks post

I must just show you before I go a lovely giveaway I received from Paperlicious Delicious.  Seeds collected from her garden and then sealed in little origami sachets with labels on.

A very simple idea, and one that has made me hunt around my garden inspecting seed heads.  Now don't get too excited as mine are likely to be runner beans and nasturtiums, but if you are a gardener then watch this space.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Handmade Monday - Christmas is a'coming...

Hello there Handmade Monday ... this the day in the week when we all admit what we've been up to.  Or at least what we have finished.

I've never been one to put the Christmas Decorations up more than a week before Christmas.  I only go Christmas shopping in December and I don't send Christmas cards more than one weekend before Christmas.  But this year, I have started thinking about Christmas gifts for craft fairs good and early.

Did you know that there could be so much effort to get a Christmas stocking just right?

I've tried fattening, thining, shortening, lengthening, I'm still not sure I'm happy but here goes:

Footnote: (pun intended), I'll get the iron out when I get to the final design!
I think I still might tinker a bit more. I'm trying to achieve a vintage look.  Any suggestions gratefully received.

Knitted sock update: progress continues on the right foot, but panic is beginning to set in, I had to continue for around 6 inches, then do something... if I can't find the instructions soon, then my deadline (that I set myself) of October 2nd, might just slip away.

Doting parent update: I am proud to announce that I removed the stabilisers from my 5 year olds bike on Sunday, and she rode off into the sunset!  Unfortunately the 2 and half year old appears to want to follow suit - he crawled at 5 months, walked at 10 months, so I guess riding a bike by 3 is in his schedule!

So pop over to 1st unique gifts and see what everyone else has been up to.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

WOYWW - Close your eyes ...

What's on your workbench Wednesday is an opportunity to take a tour of everyones desks, everyone that is, that is listed over with Julia at Stamping Ground.

I like to use lots of photos in my blogs to keep you all awake but this week I have a bit of a PROBLEM - my card reader is missing.  So you will have to use lots of IMAGINATION and I will have to use lots of DESCRIPTIONS. 

First of all it really should go without saying, but my desk is MESSY.

 I have returned to the STUDIO area, and the tea tray has been emptied. (on to the desk)
now empty

I have broken my promises of 'can you keep a secret' blog, well, adjusted them really.  I haven't bought any fabric from Wheelers Fabrics, but I have bought from several other places.  They are all still in the BAGS I bought them in, PILED ontop of one another.

Imagine: sewing machine in middle, loads of bags in back corner!
The SEWING MACHINE is in the CENTRE, and last night I made a Christmas stocking, which didn't come up to standard, so I shall have to make several more before I get it right.

Finally SOCK NEWS: right sock is progressing nicely towards 1st of October deadline!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

WOYWW flower power

What's on your workbench Wednesday.
Some time ago I wrote about Tranhumance crafting. I'm sure you work in the same manner - as winter approaches the crafting table moves closer and closer to the fire.

This week has seen me working back in the house (not in the studio at the bottom of the garden).  It was because I was trying to juggle too many things, I needed to fit my crafting around the children, but I must admit that crossing the garden in the wind and rain has not been attractive.

So here is my workbench - the kitchen work surface, and a tray to take it away in between working.

I have been making flower brooches for my Polly Polkadot cabinet in The Emporium, Machynlleth.  I had planned to deliver them personally (which may have required me calling into Wheelers Fabrics once more), but clearly my plan was spotted and the car broke down.  So OH dropped them off on his way to work.  However I decided to make some more, so that I can visit next week instead!

Using a glue gun and buttons has attracted my assistant (aged 2 and half), half my buttons are now on his necklace.  He is very disappointed that the glue gun does not squirt water, and he has offered rather too frequently to plug it in, in the hope that it might start working.  So the glue gun is definately going back to its box in the studio.

Take a trip over to stamping ground to see how the weather has affected everyone elses work bench this week.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Handmade Monday sock it to you!

Handmade Monday is an opportunity to see what people have been making, noone said it had to be any good, so -I'd like a bit of a fanfare please, maybe a drum roll too. I would like to show you the LARGEST thing I have ever FINISHED in knitting...

Here it is, the left foot:
It is bad luck to put new shoes on the table, what about new socks?

And here is the right foot:
I'm a bit too busy at the mo, but I am aiming for completion by the end of the month.

I treated myself to a sock kit from Laughing Yaffle, followed the instructions, and hey presto, it worked!
Now I suppose I should tell you about my knitting:
  • The kit comes with 5 needles, I lost one within a few hours, this must be why there are 5, because I was able to carry on knitting.
  • I have never completed anything other than finger puppets (which I did design myself), and that would have been when I was 12.
  • I can't knit without looking.
  • I really dislike stopping mid row, because when I was about 7 I turned my knitting around and went back the wrong way and everyone laughed at me!
  • When my Great Gran was going doo-lally she would put 2 or 3 heels in one sock. 
This to me is the best feature:
grafting the toe!
The instructions for grafting the toe were clearly gobbledy-gooch, they couldn't possibly work, but I thought I would give them a go before complaining ... and I was of course proved wrong, they were perfect.  Look, can you see a join on the middle 8 stitches? Neither can I, and I know which colours I joined.
    My partners words of encouragement included:
    • I hope you don't intend to sell these they will be the most expensive socks ever.
    • When I dropped a stitch several rows earlier: what they've got a hole in them and you haven't even worn them yet?
    Anyway, despite the level of laughter that will be coming from the likes of laughing yaffle and Rosmademe, I can proudly say that ONLY took me 2 weeks, just the right foot to go.