Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Knitting for the Daily Mail

I recently received an email from the Daily Mail promotions team asking whether I could help them out. [ok... the Daily Mail contacting me... I'm listening!]

They were launching a campaign called Get Knitting! They had the patterns but were looking for knitters to knit the items so they could be used as props in their supporting TV advert. Yes, you read that correctly!

I picked out my two patterns...
A Rice Stitch Scarf

Bunny Egg Cosies (x3)
The catch... they wanted them doing in a 24-hour turnaround and were sending a courier!! eeekk!!
It was fate that I had the next day off work, so I accepted the challenge :)
I sourced my yarn and cast on.
I knit like a banshee that couldn't knit quick enough and voila...

They collected and they said they were amazing :)
My knitting was then sent for filming, editing and a few days after (Friday 22nd March to be precise) the advert was played over all of the ITV owned channels for the whole day!
Here is a link to the advert on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0nojaNjUB4
And here is a link to the shorter advert that was played on Sunday 24th March - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awjmPS94EIo

From Saturday just gone through to next Saturday you can claim a free Get Knitting knitting card when you buy a copy of the Dailly Mail.

Friday, 1 March 2013


Since we went to the farm for a mini holiday last summer, we decided that we wanted to keep chickens.

I bought and built a coop and extended with a couple of runs.

When we are home they free-range and tear up the garden but the are so funny!

Introducing our three hybrid hens - Sussex, Warren and Blacktail...



Knitting Up Service

I love my crafty hobbies...

I had a lightbulb moment and want to turn these into more of a enterprise :) something I can enjoy and make profit from.

I understand that I probably will never make enough to give up the day job but small steps in the right direction are needed.

If I can introduce you to my new page on the blog Knitting Up Service.

Go on have a read... and take a gander at some of the items I have made from jumpers to animal hats to the SnowDog.

Who knows how this will pan out but it is something that I want to give a go.

The SnowDog was my first commissioned piece and I am currently working on some knitted leggings for a London fashion student :)

If you would like something knitted up please do drop me an email teamrigby@btinternet.com

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Started something new...

After finishing the 'Oh my bear!' sweater (which I love to bits!) I haven't really been drawn to start a particular project on my to-do list.

Last night I went off to my knitting group with about four possibilities in my bag and ended up starting on a chocolate labrador from the Best in Show (Knit your own dog) book and I managed to do the hind legs in amongst all the chatting.

I was nattering a lot with Rosemary, of the Sandcastle Yarns about the BeeKeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits and what was putting me off starting it. We gave a lot of arguements for and against. My main arguement against was that I need to make about 550 to cover my bed!

Anyway, this morning whilst I had a spare five minutes before leaving for the office, I cast on my first hexi-puff!

What have I started!?...

Monday, 9 July 2012

Bears and Puppies

Two happy things happened this weekend...

My friend down the road, her labrador gave birth to six gorgeous black puppies. Four boys and two girls very early on Saturday morning and I was called on to help :)

Just after number four...

Hard to see but all six are here with mum...

The last pup out (a boy) was considerably smaller (half the size) of all the others and he wasn't feeding. We managed to help him to latch on and eventually he started squeeking like the others, it was looking good. Unfortunately the little one passed away early this morning :(

And, the bear! (no not Rigby!)

On Saturday evening I finally finished 'Oh My Bear!' by Tiny Owl Knits.
I love it! so snuggly and warm :)

What to knit next? well in the interim whilst I make up my mind I have decided to knit up some quickish christmas presents to put aside.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Where are you from?

In the last couple of days I caught the bug to pick up the pieces of some hard-core geneology (that's researching my family tree to you and I!) and I made two break-throughs!

I left it all standing in 2008/9 when I hit a brick wall so to speak in the two lines that I really wanted to push on. I had not concentrated on one particular line of my tree but looked at the paternal and maternal for both of my parents.

On these two lines mentioned they just happened to both be on my dad's side. One with the name 'Gillanders' and the other with the name 'White' (oh that's me!).

With Gillanders, I had reached my great great grandfather William Gillanders - born 1863 in Kilmorack, Inverness-shire and died in 1945 in Dunfermline, Fife. With the help of Nairn's Registrar we managed to track down a Birth Certificate which listed him as William McDonald and as illegitimate but born in Upper Dallachy and not Kilmorack as listed in the census's. His mother's name is listed as Margaret McDonald and Grandfather as William McDonald. And I thought that was the end of the line :(

It wasn't until was reading back over a lot of old emails that I saw a glimmer of hope!

When I started my research and hit this problem, I decided to submit a plea for help to the local rag, the Inverness Courier - http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/Features/Times-Past/William-Gillanders-11846.htm. In my emails, I found one from a lady, Yvonne Gillanders, who I had emailed back and forth with a couple of times. I had told her where I had got to and sent scanned copies of the Certificates together with a scribbled tree. I appeared to overlook her reply which actually included the proper Birth Certificate and listing from the Birth Register. She had found the correct William born in Kilmorack a few months earlier. On the Birth Certificate he is just listed as "- McDonald Illegitimate" but on the Register it reads "William, said by the mother to be son of William Gillanders (Prot.) & Margaret McDonald, born at Shrug 2 June 1863, was confirmed by my 27 June 1863. Sponsor; Mrs M'Donald'. I couldn't quite make out the word I have wrote as Shrug... and I think that Prot means 'Protestant' but I am not 100% sure!

This was looking promising though! I have duly updated my Ancestry tree and the hunt continues :)

The second break-through was with White. This part of the family had been mainly traceable in the Kent area, with mutterings through the family that they thought there was some Irish influence somewhere. I had previously traced back to a generation that were born in County Down but lived in Liverpool. This was my great great great grandfather James White - born 2nd Oct 1835 in Dromore Parish, Down, Ireland and his wife Rose O'Neill - born abt 1843 in Co Down.

Well I have now discovered that they actually got married in Liverpool not County Down and all of their children were born in Liverpool too. Their Marriage Certificate has duly been located and ordered from the GRO! :)

I think that the next step is to find them on the Passenger Lists coming over from Ireland. However, I know that he as he Royal Navy on the HMS Terrible (from 1861 census) so maybe he didnt go back but just met Rose in Liverpool?? hmmm.

I have also found James' parents through FamilySearch and his five sisters too! All from the County Down area.

Irish records, for some reason, aren't as accessible as the english and scottish but fingers crossed their Marriage Certificate will offer an insight into their parents and possible more.

Have you researched your Family Tree?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Pin Cushion Swap

So as part of my effort to be more crafty, I joined a swap. More particularly a pin cushion swap run by House of Pinheito and Sew Far Sew Good...

We were each paired up with another pin-cushioner and left to our own devices to chat and make.

I was paired up with Jess of Knitting on Trains (fantastic blog name!)

I already had an idea in my head about what I was going to make and I found out from Jess that her favourite colour was yellow.

I tackled a crochet tea cup :)

Apart from granny squares this is I think my first ever crocheted item, so I am quite pleased with it. 

It is a little wonky donkey so I decided to include a couple of tea related items with it.

A variety of herbal teas - Camomile, Redbush, Cranberry and Mint.


A tea pot and hematite bracelet :)

And here is what I received earlier today...

I love the birdie wrapping paper too.

Jess crocheted this gorgeous pink pin cushion which is also stuffed with lavender. It smells lovely :)

Thank you Jess! :)