Sunday, 18 September 2011

Apologies ...

for the fact that I seem to have come to a bit of a stop.  I keep looking and people are still looking at and reading my blog and I will blog soon I promise. I am feeling better and stronger all the time and the fact that people are reading my blog gives me strength, so I will be back soon, I promise.  For now all I can say is all my love and see you soon.

Love from Radders

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How do you knit?

This might seem a terrifically odd question but please bear with me. How do you knit?

I’m not talking about the technical mechanics of the knitting process; although that is important.  How do you approach a pattern?  How do you decide in what order you will knit the pieces and put them together?

For myself, I pretty much do it the way the pattern suggests, start with the back of the garment.  But somehow I find that this is a slow way to go about things in many ways.  Usually the back is the biggest piece of the garment, and, yes, I know that sometimes the back has to be knitted first, because of the neckline, or whatever, on the front; if it starts to be shaped before starting the armhole shaping, if you get what I mean.

My mother, who had her own knitting company, always knitted the sleeves first; she said they were the parts she disliked most and she wanted to get them over with.  My grandmother, to my mind, had the most peculiar way of knitting, she cast on each piece, did the welt/ribbing and then put each piece aside to be knitted later, because she hated doing rib or welts.  She got all the bits she hated with over first, so that the rest of the garment was pure pleasure for her to knit.

Then (deep breath)  there’s sewing up; do you leave it to the end or do it as you go along.  Both my mother and grandmother did it as they went along.  Neither could bear having a pile of pieces to assemble at the end.  Indeed, my Gran, went so far as to only ever do one seam at a time per day, and she would really put her heart and soul into that one seam.  I have to say her seams were the most immaculate and professional I’ve ever seen.

Do you mattress stitch or do you knit each seam together?  My mother always swore by having the same number of rows to be joined together, where possible and knitting one stitch from each row together to form her seams.  She also used this method when attaching the front bands – knitting together the edge stitch of the garment with the edge stitch of the front band? 

Continental or not – this is another question?  Both my Mum and my Gran were continental knitters; they both swore by it; the both said that they could knit much faster in this way. Personally, much as I try to master continental, I find myself all fingers and thumbs, so I tend to swear at it (between you and me); could be cos I’m left-handed, I don’t know?!

You’re probably wondering by now – if Radders has flipped and why I am asking all these strange questions.  Truth be told, I’m kind of going through a bit of a hiatus with my knitting,  can’t seem to settle with it.  Everything I start (with the back) I seem to be taking an instant dislike to at the moment and end up frogging.  I just can’t seem to get to a place where I can say ‘Oh, this is really working for me and I am really enjoying it.’  I don’t want to put my knitting aside, I just want to experiment with different methods and techniques, in the hope that I’ll get my knitting passion back.  So I’d be really interested to know what everyone thinks and if you could drop me a comment with some suggestions please – that would be really great.  I’d really love to know everyone else’s thoughts on their ‘knitting psychology’.  What works for you and why?

See you all soon (hopefully a more fulfilled knitter who swears less at her knitting).

Love and Hugs Radders xx

2011-05-04 16.28.45

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday …



Oops! I am a little squiffy on champers as I type this. It's my birthday today ....

Yaaay!  Champagne lunch (thanks in-laws) and pressies (thanks in-laws, children and husband).  (This is beginning to sound like an Oscar speech!!)

Seriously, I've had a really good,  nay fantastic day thanks to my loved ones, who were determined to make it a good day.  It's not a special birthday for me, but being that I've had an exceptionally tough, tough year, they decided to make it really special for me.  And it has been.  Trouble is, now I want to sleep, but I can't I've got a special dinner tonight (thanks husband).  So I'm going to do my best not to nod off.  Can't guarantee it though, my eyes feel really heavy.  Ah well, maybe just 40 winks!

Love and Hugs Radders xxx

Friday, 29 April 2011


Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the wedding. Wishing them all the best here at Radders World.

Had to put this video clip on from YouTube. By far my personal favourite from a wonderful services was the hymn Jerusalem. It was one of my own wedding hymns. Beautiful. British. Enjoy.

Love and Hugs Radders

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I feel like the door is closed to me and I want to know why …

Maybe this post isn’t as positive as it should be, I’ll apologise for that before I get going.  I am unemployed … There I’ll get up of my chair and say it “My name is Radders and I’m unemployed”.  I was made redundant just before Christmas and haven’t managed to find anything else yet.  Partly due to the fact that there’s a recession on and partly due to the fact that there just aren’t that many vacancies out there.  Also, I see great vacancies but just don’t have the confidence to go for them.

I have decided to take positive proactive steps to change this.  That tome on my bookshelves  on Career Management (Yes, you – the one gathering dust at the end of the shelf!) is going to get taken down and read.  I have to get myself up and going again somehow.  Can’t exactly say I am looking forward to this, as I’ve flicked through before and it’s not the most riveting of reads, but has to be done.  If there’s just one flicker of enlightenment or inspiration in there, it’ll be worth it.  I need to feel confident again, need to feel that I am controlling my circumstances instead of them controlling me.  I need to do this so here goes….

Wish me luck.


Love and Hugs Radders xx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Something else I am interested in …

I love plants but when I was at Uni I developed a love for the rest of the countryside as well. 

I am now thinking about the environment in a mystical way, though. 

It all started because another of my passions is rocks and crystals.  I collect them and have been known, strangely, to pick up the most ordinary-looking rock or pebble because there was something about it that drew me to it. Weird really, I know …


I have always had a thing for the paranormal, too.  I know some people don’t believe and I think we should all be free to believe what we want.  This is just my personal view …

Somehow earth mysteries to me seems to combine a little bit of the two.  I found the above book in a second hand bookstore a while ago and had to buy it.  It’s a useful little primer on the subject of earth mysteries; what they are and what they aren’t.

The weather is grey today and cold here in west Wales, but today, I’ve got such a longing to be out there exploring.  I can’t explain it at all, so I think I will … I just love walking for its own sake and looking at what’s around me.  I am passionate about it.  Off I go then …

Love and Hugs Radders xx

Friday, 8 April 2011

I want to do something ….

Over the last few weeks, probably like many others amongst us, I have felt so moved by the plight of Japan, that I wanted to do something.

So …. I decided that as well as putting a fiver in the charity box I wanted to do something more.

So I have spent the day helping out in my local Red Cross shop.  It’s not much and it won’t change the world, but its left me feeling so good  tonight.

Okay, yes, my feet ache like you wouldn’t believe cos I’m not used to standing on them all day, but I’ve had so much fun and enjoyment out of it, that it more than makes up for the achy feet.

However, I’m determined not to moan.  The people in Japan are putting up with a hell of a lot more than aching feet.  My aching feet will pass in time, it’ll take the Japanese people a heck of a lot longer to rebuild their shattered lives.

Guess what?   I’m going back tomorrow for another few hours.  The people I’ve met today are a fantastic bunch and I’m really looking forward to it.  Can’t wait.


I’m off now to soak my aching paws.  Ahhh. Hot water …. bliss!

Love and Hugs

Bye for now Radders x

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A little beauty in an unexpected place …

As I said in my last post I intended to get out there and look at what was really around in terms of wild plants; this morning while out walking, I found and snapped these little beauties.  They were actually on a pavement side verge approaching the bridge to the local bypass.


So I stopped, whipped out my mobile phone, probably much to the amusement of passing drivers (“Oh look there’s a mad woman, out in daylight!” kind of thing) and proceeded to snap away to my heart’s content.

You probably can’t see them very well, but the blue flowers in the centre of the picture are grape hyacinths (Muscari neglectum) and they belong (strangely enough) to the lily family.  I suspect that they are a garden escape – but from where I cannot tell as there are no houses in the immediate vicinity.  Still, I suppose they could have been carried there by a bird or found their way there by some other means. 

I couldn’t tell whether they had a fragrance, like other hyacinths.  Frankly, err, the thought of getting down in the grass with crisp packets, cigarette ends and coke cans was not appealing so I didn’t bother, but I am excited to have found something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, and had a lovely walk too.  The weather here in west Wales is setting up for quite a nice afternoon. What’s the weather like where you are? 

Bye for now

Love and Hugs Radders x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Need to consider what’s actually there …

Just of late, I’ve gotten interested in plants again in a big way.  When I was at university reading Environmental Science, botany was by far and away my favourite subject.  I loved it, both for its own sake and also because I was lucky enough to have a lecturer who was really passionate about their subject and really brought it alive in a way that few could.  I love plants, in all their different varieties, families, genii; I find them endlessly fascinating.  So much so, that recently I started to research a book on plants, myself.  I’m now spending hours immersed in country, county and other books on flora. 

But I find myself with a dilemma.  Floras are great for telling you about the sheer variety of plant life, but how much of that plant life are you ever likely to see if you don’t live in a rural area.  For instance, the plant in the photograph below – It’s Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber, but this photograph was shot about two years ago now and to date I have seen this plant nowhere else.


Poppies, Papaver rhoeas, are a particular favourite of mine (not because of any narcotic associations I hasten to add in the case of Papaver somniferum, but simply because I think that they are far and away one of the most beautiful flowers in the UK flora), but how often are they seen growing wild.  Yes, you see them in gardens, but not that often wild where I live.


Your average roadside bank in some places is likely to consist of weeds, such as dandelions, and not much else.  And here I don’t mean weeds in a derogatory sense at all, just, maybe that they’re very common, it doesn’t make them any less beautiful as a plant to me.

So in keeping with my old lecturer’s advice to concentrate on what’s actually there and not what the book says should be there or what you think should be there, as of tomorrow I am out and about with the camera, to see actually what is there and to concentrate only on what’s there.

I would have gone today, but I’ve been thwarted by the good old Welsh weather, rain and plenty of it and wind too unfortunately.  So it will have to be tomorrow.

Hope you are all well.

Bye for now Radders xx

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The way to me has been barred …

I’m glad to be back.  Unfortunately, my computer has been out of action for the last twenty-four hours or so.  I was using it yesterday when all of a sudden I was attacked by a virus.  I could do nothing to stop it, it totally disabled my computer and kicked me off the net.  Partly my own fault – my computer was not protected against viruses, happily this is now rectified and I am now protected, but it was expensive and worrying to get it fixed.  Fixed it has been however, and Radders is back in action, thankfully.


So now the gates are open to me again, thankfully, and it’s taught me an important lesson, the hard way, about being protected against viruses.  I didn’t think it would happen to me, but I found out the hard way it can happen to anyone.

Hope you are all well.

Love and Hugs Radders xx

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Ever fallen so recklessly …

In lust/admiration for a pattern.  I just did, and maybe I am deluding myself that I can actually do this but I am going to have a jolly good go.  I once remember my Gran telling me that the best way to learn to knit is to attempt something that you’re jolly well sure that you can’t knit.  If you’re passionate enough – you’ll do it, you’ll learn the new techniques needed along the way.


Looking at this gorgeous item, and reading the pattern carefully, (of course) the only thing that I think is going to give me trouble is short-row shaping and wrapping stitches, both of which I’ve never done before.  But, Hey, I’ll learn or not,  sink or swim, optimism or sheer stupidity, I’m not sure which.

The only other thing that daunts me about this pattern is the sheer amount of knitting involved – it’s 4ply you see – not something I am going to have done in a week.  Never committed myself to something this big before, not at all.  But, like I said, I am picking up my needles, having a go and going to learn a lot on the way.

The pattern itself came from this book, which seems to be filled with other gems, none quite as big as the dress though.


Ah well, wish me luck, where are me needles  then …

Love and Hugs Radders x

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Beautiful, but not exactly sure ….

What these beauties are.  Mr Radders and I inherited them when we bought our house years ago and every spring, without fail, they appear; slightly later this year, though I’m thinking this may be due to the awful winter we’ve had.


I think that they may possibly be some kind of fritillary – possibly Fritillaria meleagris aka Snakeshead Fritillary; a perennial usually to be found on damp meadowland.  This is a distinct possibility as we have a very damp clay-type soil in our garden. Whatever they are, they’re beautiful and it always cheers me so much to see them, I feel like summer is on the way at last! Hopefully!


We have two clumps of these beauties and the photo below is a slightly smaller plant.  Every year they go and every year I worry that winter will kill them off and they wont come back, but every year, miraculously, they return.


A lovely little bit of constancy in an ever-changing world.

Hope you are all well.

BTW If I have wrongly identified this plant and anyone thinks it may be something else  I’d love to hear from you, so please do get in touch.

Bye for now Radders xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Small Problem

I seem to be having a small problem. I can see that people have left comments for me, but for some reason I can't seem to access them. I have been trying to access them but no luck. I can see how many comments have been left for me but I can't access them. Please forgive me if you have commented but your comment hasn't appeared. I'd dearly love to read your comments but for some reason at the moment - I just can't. It's a little bit frustrating to say the least ... All I can say is please keep trying and hopefully at some point a backlog of comments will get through to me.

Bye for now Radders x

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Little Bit Nervous …

I have an interview tomorrow with one of my local clothes stores.  I haven’t been a sales assistant since before I had my children, which is more than fifteen years.  I fancy a change, because I like working with people, sadly I am lacking in experience in recent years, but I am hoping that a passion for fashion and working with people might take me some of the way.  I have to say, I get nervous about interviews, I say nowt or I can’t shut up; so I am hoping for a happy medium.  Off for an early night now.


Wish me luck please and cross fingers and toes for me  …

Hope you are all well.

Love and Hugs Radders xx

Ideas they are a crystallizin’ …

I’ve long had it in mind to write a book. Trouble is, so far I have not been able to decide on a subject. I have a wide range of interests which I’ve researched quite fully, but for one reason or another, they’ve never quite made it to the stage where I wanted to take them forward into a full length book. Maybe I didn’t know enough or for one reason or another I wasn’t quite passionate enough about the subject in hand. I want to be totally passionate about whatever I write about. So, I’ve kept files of my interests on hand basically to see which one I keep going back to time and time again.


The one that I’ve kept going back to has surprised me the most …

When I was in university the subject that enthralled me most was botany. Now most people might say, plants are such dry and boring things and if all you’re going to do is count petals and classify Latin names – I’d firmly agree with them.

But plants have another side – a more exciting side, for me anyway. They can cure or they can very definitely KILL! How many of us as little children were shooed quickly away from the plant in the garden from the plant with pretty flowers or even more commonly bright shiny pretty berries?

I remember moving into one of our old houses as a child and seeing a plant at the bottom of the garden with big shiny black berries – I was fascinated and when I pointed it to my Father and asked him what it was – I was dragged away from it quick smart and told that if I ever touched that plant I would die. Said plant was then dug up by the roots and burnt – quick smart. Only when I was much older did I learn that it was deadly nightshade and that my darling dad spoke no less than the truth when he said that it could kill me. It very definitely could!

When I studied botany at university as part of my degree – these were the plants that fascinated me then and still do. The bad boys, the glamour boys, the Lord Byrons of the plant world: “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know!”

So I think this is where my thoughts are headed and my ideas have been crystallised by a chance discovery of a fantastic site – Mrs Grieve’s Herbal, which can be found here:

The illustrations are beautiful (and this site is where the illustration above comes from) and the whole herbal is written from the 1930s (one of my favourite eras), personally I just found it a fascinating read.

I’m off now to immerse myself in a few old botany texts. Hope you are all well.

Love and Hugs Radders xx