Saturday, December 30, 2006

Guess which book......

... I got for Christmas.
Just in case there is anyone out there who doesn`t recognise this warshrag (and I can`t really believe there is) it was Mason Dixon Knitting and I couldn`t resist making a Warshrag, I used some Anchor Magic and an unidentified white cotton I had lurking and this little beauty just flew off the needles. Guess who is now on the look out for some cheap cotton to make more. I never quite appreciated the attraction of knitted dishcloths before - but now.....
Oh, and yes, it is curly at the edges, but surely you don`t need to block dishcloths, do you ?????
Other knitterly pressies were a subscription to Simply Knitting from DH and DD bought me some row markers so I no longer have to fiddle with contrasting yarn (though she found the lady in the LYS to be less than helpful, which is rather sad considering todays youngsters are tomorrows knitters)

Not knitting, I know, but I was rather pleased with the way my Christmas cake turned out so I thought I would share it with you, sorry the photo isn`t a very good colour - it was a white cake, honest - I`m not entirely sure how DH managed the sepia look, our camera isn`t that clever!

Well having spent the entire festive period extracting cat from Christmas tree, or catching the whole `kit` and kaboodle as it fell, we decided enough was enough. The poor tree could no longer take a fully grown cat launching itself half way up the trunk and I had had to remove said cats mouth from around fairy lights on one too many occasions, so we took the whole thing down yesterday - Christmas is now officially over in the Modelwidow household for another year.
(would it be really awful of me to cheer quietly?)

Anyway, I`m looking forward to New Years Eve, a chinese takeaway with really good friends, (5 of us adults and 5 `children` ranging in age from 13 to 17, and all get on exceptionally well.) Can`t think of a better way to start 2007.

So here`s wishing you all a happy and healthy new year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Perhaps I`m not so weird after all ....

....or maybe I just don`t realise it.

Thank you to Queen Frogger for tagging me to come up with 6 weird things about myself, so here goes .......

1: I adore chocolate, I would die if they stopped making it, bars of it, chocolate cake, chocolate pud, choccy biccys yum –but I HATE drinking hot chocolate!

2: I can never stop a knitting pattern on row 13 – I`m afraid if I do, something bad will happen and I will never get back to it.

3: My left foot is bigger than my right foot – even though I am right handed.

4: I have a reputation among DD`s friends as being scary – but those who actually know me can`t understand why!

5: I have a teenage daughter and we don`t argue – in fact we are the best of friends. ( Judging by DD`s friends and their mum`s that is weird anyway).

6: I get really seasick – but I love going on cruises

actually the last one is a bit of a cheat – cos they do a fantastic anti seasickness injections – but I got stuck, I thought finding 6 things would be easy – so maybe I`m not as weird as I thought I was :-)

and because of:

THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

I am now tagging Tarty Crafty , Army of Knitters, Library Girl Knits , Knityoga, Float`n`purl and Two Fish Knitting . Sorry guys!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Les Dawson is alive and well.....

.....and playing the organ in our local church!

I am not a regular church goer, but I always make a point of going to the Carol Service - I think it is important to do something at Christmas time to remember the true meaning, so ever since DD was old enough, she, my Mum and I go along each year. It`s only once we`ve been to church that I really start to feel Christmassy.
DD is now 13 and to a great extent we share the same humour, so when the organist started playing a la Les Dawson, we didn`t dare look at each other, and certainly during ` The First Nowell` I have no idea what he was playing but it definitely wasn`t the same as the congregation were singing! ( hopefully you will recall the way he played the piano or else you will be wondering what on earth I am talking about!)

When I was about 5 or 6, I came home from Sunday School delighted to have learnt a new carol, which I proudly told Mum was called `The Trifle Song`, after much questioning she discovered it was in fact

`Oh come all ye faithful,
Trifle and joyumphant`

- now for some reason she and DD find this highly amusing - so when Les began playing this particular carol in his unique style - poor DD sitting between us just didn`t know which way to look and ended up studying the floor lest she catch one of our eyes.

I`m pleased to say we both made it through the service without either giving in to the threatening bout of giggles.

Now onto something a little crafty - DD was invited to a birthday party for a Goth friend, and having found the perfect necklace - a cross set with black stones on a black and silver beaded chain - we needed to make it look that little bit more special than just wrapped in birthday paper. Out came a remnant of black satin and some black lace and ribbon, and in no time at all, behold a presentation pouch. Some of DD`s friends were amazed.
" Your Mum didn`t really make that, did she?"
To DD (and me) it seems the most natural thing in the world, but isn`t it sad when others don`t realise the pleasure and satisfaction making something brings.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yay....Knitting again

Well I can`t say it is because of the Dog Oil, which though nice to massage with didn`t actually help - in fact other joints have now joined in :-(
But I seem to be able to knit again :-) admittedly a little slower than usual (and I am slow enough anyway) and not for any great length of time...but I am knitting.
The photo doesn`t do this justice - the yarn is Patons Spritz in colour spritzer which is just sparkly enough to be interesting without being OTT, and the pattern is from the latest Knitting, and it is all for me!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The countdown...

...has begun!

Some years ago when I was into patchwork and quilting, I made this advent calendar for DD and it has been a firm favourite ever since. Incredibly easy but oh so satisfying.
Now that she is taller (errr.. taller than me actually) I have taken to wrapping each little gift to keep the suspense going as she is prone to peeping! - they are only little inexpensive things (you know, rubbers, pencil sharpener, cheepy earrings, hairbands, or fun sweeties, that kind of thing) but we both enjoy it.

And DD...if you are reading this, I may or may not have included any or all of the above...ha! thought you`d find out didn`t you? x

Sunday, November 26, 2006

There`s a lot of it about

As I wander aroung blogland, I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of us knitters suffering from aches and pains in hands and fingers - me included :-(

At the moment my left thumb joints are so troublesome that I can only do a very small amount of knitting at a time, hence having nothing to show. I`m not sure if it is arthritic, RSI (though I can`t imagine why since my right hand is far busier at work and is fine) or if I have strained/sprained it. However, I have heard that Mason`s Dog Oil is very good so I thought I would give it a go - it`s very early days so I am not sure if it really has helped or whether I am imagining things - I`ll let you know.

I was initially a little wary, I mean Dog oil? I know they press olives for olive oil. sunflower seeds for sunflower oil...... but it was reassuring to read the FAQ`s on Mason`s web site which included

Do you use dogs in it?

No. We can't run fast enough to catch them!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Light at the end of the tunnel

It has been a tense time in the Model household, you see DH has been unhappy in his job for a very long time, but having been with the company for 27 years and worked his way up, leaving was never going to be easy. However, along came Dream Job, and having been told over 3 weeks ago that he had got it, we have been waiting (metaphorically) by the letter box ever since - he needing the confirmation so he can hand in notice, and me so I can arrange increased hours (as dream job = pay cut + happier DH hopefully). Said letter finally arrived on thursday so the deed is done. Now he just has to get through the 3 month notice period - yes that`s right 3 months!

Added to that DD is in the process of choosing GCSE options, which, because of the way the choices are grouped is proving a bit of a challenge. Still she is nearly there, so things should be settling down here soon (fingers crossed)

Anyway, not much knitting to show at present but this is what I have been working on in the Bobbin Lace department. Just got to use that lovely invisible thread to attach lace to frame - that is if I can find it!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Done and undone

DD has been complaining that her hands get cold when she is typing, so what else is a mother to do but knit her offspring Fetching, DD can then type to her hearts content - shame it`s on MSN rather than her homework though! I decided to try Wendy`s Fusion as it felt so soft and I loved the colours - this one is juniper berries. Once I got used to the yarn it was really enjoyable to knit. I was fully expecting it to be a bit of a race to get them done before the yarn ran out, as the pattern says it uses a full ball of yarn with 89m and Fusion has 88m, but I have ended up with several metres left!! Oh well, better that way than the other.

And the undone?....well, remember my Sari Silk hat which I was so pleased with and which fitted perfectly? What happened? I washed it, that`s what and it grew and grew and grew - I could no longer see where I was going and when I turned quickly, the hat didn`t!!! So here it is. I could see no other alternative, and so now I have to start again.
It is only fairly recently that I have been bothering with a tension swatch, but after this I can see I shall also be washing my swatch BEFORE I start knitting.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Me and my big feet!

Actually I don`t think they are really that big, size 7 1/2 to be precise, but I am beginning to despair of ever finding decent looking shoes to fit. It`s not as though they are that funny a shape, the majority of size 7`s fit fine widthwise, but I need them just a tiny bit longer. I do so wish that manufacturers would understand that just because I need an extra half size in length it doesn`t mean my feet are suddenly much, much wider. Grrrrr. They all seem to be as bad as each other, though Clarks have been very helpful in offering to get certain styles in for me to try.

In fact Clarks have been very good this week (and here eventually comes the knitting link) whilst I was in there I asked if they might have a couple of spare shoe boxes for our Love in a box and they happily produced some together with carrier bags to keep them dry, however, DD immediately snaffled the small one leaving me with a gents size 11 box! Now, I have always been surprised how much you can fit into a shoe box anyway, so my bits looked a little bit lost, cue photo.....

I whipped out some large needles and the left over wool from the hat, and created a `space filling` scarf using the same mock rib as the hat on a reverse stocking stitch background - I now realise it should have had a garter stitch border, as even after wet blocking and steam blocking it still has a tendency to curl - but hey, I`ll just pretend it was a design feature!
This week I took delivery of some really nice bamboo dpns, all the way from Hong Kong! from Joycesupershop . I was a bit sceptical as to what they would actually be like in view of the ridiculously low price - 12 sets of 5 x 6" dpns for .....wait for it 99p plus £11 postage, and when I opened the package which arrived in double quick time and saw it included a piece of sandpaper! I wondered again - but they are BRILLIANT, I love working with them, even with Wendy Fusion which isn`t the slipperiest of yarns they are just great (that`s where the 12th pair are at the moment) and in sizes from 2mm to 8mm I should be set for anything. I know where I will be looking if I want any other needles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3 flowers, 2 hats and a scarf!

Well they may only be small items but I`m pretty pleased with my FO`s from last weeks break I have finally finished Bertie and I am really pleased with the way it came out after blocking. The 4ply hand dyed lambswool from Bryony my one skein pal, was lovely to work with, though using 3.25mm needles meant it took quite a while to knit 95cm and it is narrower than the original. It is actually a little pinker than the picture, but hopefully the colour variations show as they really `lift` the design.

The flowers will be part of my contribution to The Gingerbread House the latest project of textile artist Alison Murray in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the North Devon Hospice.

The Sugar on Snow hat from Knitty made from a bright and cheerful odd ball of chunky that I picked up in a charity shop is destined for the Love in a Box that I will be putting together shortly. This was the first time that I had tried mock cabling, and I also wanted to use my Boyes Needlemasters, which I have to say I am very pleased with. Initially they seemed a little metallic, but as I worked on, I found them to be a pleasure to knit with, nice and pointy and the cable behaved too. I did keep an eye on the join having heard that they can unscrew, but had no problems there, though I would still bear it in mind another time to be on the safe side.

My final FO is a hat for me from Hipknits Sari silk using their free pattern, and it actually suits me!!!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back again....

and I hadn`t even told you I was going (sorry time ran out) but this is where I have been, and here I am trotting along on Sheffield Pike in the Lake District.

DD`s school has a different October half term to the rest of the world, so until the holiday companies realise, we decided to make the most of the `non-school-holiday prices` and sneaked in a last minute break in Ambleside for a bit of fell walking.

It was great to get away from every day life for a few days and after marching up the fells by day, I felt totally justified in spending all evening sitting knitting - and I will show you what I`ve achieved when they (yes plural!) are blocked.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Old dogs and new tricks

In the last Simply Knitting mag, I noticed a new (to me) way of holding the yarn when knitting fairisle - both yarns in the right hand, one on index finger the other on middle finger, so I thought I`d give it a go and at the same time knit my contribution to Knit a river for Wateraid. Well, I very soon got in a tangle, it was a real fiddle and the knitting became all puckered and `orrible. It didn`t take me many rows to realise that after 30+ years of doing fairisle one way, there really wasn`t any point in trying to master a new method if it didn`t come easily, so I went back to main colour in right hand the english way, and contrast in left hand the continental way, and in very little time this square appeared.

Now I know that you really can`t teach old dogs new tricks - or at the very least it is just not worth the effort.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

`Tis done

The Tuscany shawl is finished, I rather enjoyed making it with each row being shorter than the last, and it is lovely and warm - so let them turn on that air conditioning now, I don`t care!

The picture just doesn`t do the yarn justice, it is lovely IRL and looks more like this. It was a real pleasure to knit with too.

Now to decide what to make next - yes I know Bertie and half a pair of socks are waiting for me, but you know how it is. I always used to be a one WIP person, but lately I have been led astray :-) There are too many nice things out there (but not enough hours in a day)

Friday, September 22, 2006

It`s official!

I`ve always known I am a Modelwidow, but now it is official. (well it`s nearly the same) DH came across this sticker when looking for something else and just had to buy it for me. Shame I can`t stick it on my knitting bag, wonder if they do a material one.

Knitting wise, I have finally managed to get hold of some Boyes Needlemaster interchangeable needles - Not that I didn`t like the idea of Denises but they just don`t go down small enough for me. It has been something of a trial getting these - I was unable to find a UK stockest and couldn`t find anyone in the USA willing to ship over here. On eBay most of the sellers wanted prohibitively high shipping rates to make it worthwhile until finally I found these. The price and shipping was good - I knew it must be too good to be true and it took 7 emails after buying to actually get the seller to acknowledge my purchase and send them to me - and he even had the audacity to ask for positive feedback!!!!!!

Still, I`ve got them in my grubby little mitts now - just need to finish my shawly thing, and decide what to cast on next to make use of them.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Not quite so Hot Desking

In my office we `hot desk` and just in case anyone isn`t familiar with that term, it`s just a fancy way of saying we don`t have our own allocated desk but just use which ever one is available.
Now, we all have different shift patterns in my team, which can vary person to person and on a daily or weekly basis - (I`m so glad mine is a fixed shift, I don`t think I could cope with constantly changing times as my colleagues do), so hot desking is fine if I start before them as I can chose my desk, but when they start first I often get left with the desk under the air conditioning unit,then it`s rather like sitting in a fridge.
At the moment my lovely scarf from my One Skein Pal is keeping the chill off my neck, but I know that soon I will be needing something to keep my shoulders and upper arms snug too.

So it occured to me, what I need is a Clapotis, I can wear it like a scarf on the way in, and then if necessary open it out a bit to keep more of me safe from the arctic chill. Yep, a clapotis would be perfect.

So, can someone please tell me why I am knitting this?!

I suppose it could have something to do with me falling in love with the colours,(it`s greener IRL and the purple and cerise bits look much nicer against it) not to mention that my LYS had just the right amount left in the reduced basket. It may not be a clapotis, but it is knitting up nice and quickly on 10mm needles, and every row is 2 sts shorter than the one before :-)

And here is a little chap I made in an evening for DD, the pattern is from Stitch`n bitch Nation, and the yarn is something soft and pinky and label-less that I picked up ages ago in a charity shop thinking it would come in handy sometime. In fact the buttons cost 3 times the amount I paid for the wool.
I like the way you leave a bit of the bottom seam undone so you can plug in your handsfree, looks like DD is chatting to a wooly toy!

And finally, it`s a good job this isn`t a smell-blog, I`m in the middle of making a huge pot of chutney, and it don`t `arf pong round here. Best go and give it another stir, poooooh.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Saturday Shopper

It`s not very often I see a pattern in a magazine and just have to make it now, but the Saturday Shopper in this months SK had that effect on me. I can`t remember the last time I crocheted something, (crochet was one of the crafts I more or less left behind with my teenage years) but it all came back to me - a bit like riding a bike, which was just as well owing to the number of errors in the pattern, including some sentences which simply did not make sense in english never mind crochet terms. But good old common sense prevailed, I worked out what they meant, and here is the end result. I had some left overs of cotton DK, but as I wasn`t convinced I had enough of either, I came up with this version, hopefully everyone else who sees it will think the two colours were a design feature and only you who are reading this will know the truth!

Despite my cursing at the pattern mistakes (which has made me wonder if I dare tackle anything else out of SK) I really enjoyed making this, and have vowed not to leave crochet for another ** years before I do any more.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Utterly Gorgeous

My One skein pal really is a star, my gift has arrived and it is absolutely gorgeous
She says it is her first completed crochet project - can you believe that? just look at it, and it is a shame you can`t feel it too, it is the most incredibly soft, silky thing you can imagine and it is feather light. Apart from the warmth and deliciousness of it you would never know you had anything round your neck!
It is made from Habu silk mohair kusa - there is only 14 grams in a ball!! I am so pleased with it I can`t tell you,

and just to show you how beautifully it has been made, here`s a close up! (Are you blushing yet puss?) She also sent me some chocolate, milk and plain (yum and double yum - this girl knows me too well) and the parcel arrived on my first day back to work after the 6 week summer break so it couldn`t have been better timing.

The card as usual was very appropriate - in case it isn`t clear from the piccy it says
"Mummy, what will I be when I grow up?" "Don`t be silly you`re a bloke, you`ll never grow up!"
DH looked up from his model aeroplane long enough to read it and chuckle!!!

It`s really nice to finally find out who this lovely lady is, (lucky thing lives near Holmfirth - Rowan country, Knitting and Crochet Guild, etc) It seems strange not having to call her Puss anymore, but I`ll be visiting her blog, Library Girl Knits to see what she gets up to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Llamas, Alpacas and Pooh

Aren`t these guys handsome?
With DD and DH away playing with their model planes, I decided to have a day out and went to the craft fayre at Ashdown forest Llama park. I have to be honest and say it was a bit of a let down as it`s nearly an hours drive from here and there were only a handful of stands, with nothing of interest to me. So, I went to say hello to the llamas (above) and the alpacas (below)

Don`t they look funny after they`ve been shorn
but cute when they are young.

I spent quite a while wandering in the sushine and though it isn`t a big place I managed to pass a couple of hours quite happily. Sadly, they don`t sell any alpaca wool, I think they could be missing out there. Anyway with time still to spare I decided as I was in the area which in case you didn`t know is actually Pooh country, I couldn`t leave without visiting some of the sites, so I trekked off to Pooh Sticks Bridge, had an ice cream near Eeyore`s Sad and Gloomy Place, and finished up at Pooh Corner.

a not very good picture of Pooh Bridge - the only view I could get without all the world and his uncle in it!

I promise, my next post will contain something about knitting and/or crochet, as hopefully I will have something to show by then.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to earth with a bump.

So this is where I have been, I had a wonderful two weeks, (and all your good wishes must have worked as I wasn`t seasick on this cruise!) and the time just flew by.
We sailed from Southampton on the QE2 heading for the Mediterranean, with ports of call including Lisbon, Cagliari, Zakinthos .......

....Piraeus, from where we took the Metro (all by our ownselves) to get to Athens (shown here from part way up to the Acropolis), and it was 39'C (phew!)

then there was Naples and finally Gibraltar where we went up one of these to see the apes at the top of the Rock, which DD and I loved watching

I have to confess though that I didn`t get much knitting done, there was so much else to fill my time. Obviously there were the visits in port, but also on sea days there were lectures, (including Jeffrey Archer who, no matter where you stand on politics, is an excellent speaker, and oral historian Max Arthur who was very good too, to the extent that in one of his moving lectures with an audience of 500 you could have heard a pin drop!) there were dance classes, and demonstrations, films, shows etc etc ....I could go on for hours, and put in loads and loads of photos, but I won`t, I will just to say we had such a super time this is where I wish I was now

Sailing off into the sunset!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I did it in time!

DD`s bolero is finished and will be coming on holiday with us. It was a simple knit and I enjoyed the feel of the Kool Kotton which is a bit of a bargain at 99p for 50g especially as there are 130m per ball, and this took just under 4 balls. I`ll definitely be using it again (I hope it washes and wears well, I`ll let you know).

Well, I have got the important bits sorted out for our holiday - I will be knitting a Bertie Scarf courtesy of Bronte but using the lovely lambs wool my One Skein pal dyed for me, and then if I want something plain(ish) and stocking stitchy I will be taking my Kool Kotton (which I would have used for a bolero for me if I hadn`t have looked so daft in one) and DD`s left over and have a go at Mesilla . I have also packed my books, but I suppose I ought to consider packing some clothes too!

Wish me bon voyage, I`m going on a boat and get seasick! but hopefully all will be well and I will tell you all about it when I get back.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Packed and ready to go.

HAH! you thought I was off on holiday, didn`t you?

Well I am soon but in this case it is the One Skein Secret Pal gift that is packed and ready to go, and I really hope my pal likes it - I`m pretty sure she doesn`t read my blog so hopefully it is safe to put this piccy in now. I`m pretty pleased with the end result (I think I like this felting lark even if poor old Mum doesn`t quite get it - well she has spent the last 40 odd years of married life trying not to shrink woolies, and here am I doing it on purpose!!!)
In the One Skein book this `Clutch you`ll never give up` was decorated with buttons, but not having anything suitable I thought I`d scout around and found this lovely butterfly which is in fact a hair decoration from Clare`s Accessories - (brilliant shop for cheap pretty pretties and one we almost lived in when DD was pre-teen) and I think it just finishes the bag off (though it could easily be removed/replaced as desired as it is simply pushed through and anchored with a little invisible thread - how I HATE that stuff, but it has it`s uses. I`m still trying to find the bit I dropped, and no I`m not kidding!!)

Monday, July 31, 2006

`Lace In` (or was it an Eat in?)

As part of the Lace Guild competition entitled `Seven` Tonbridge Lacemakers have decided to dress dolls basing the theme on the seven deadly sins, with small pieces of lace contributed by members and then dyed, each colour representing a sin. A small group of us decided the best way to get said peice of lace made would be to meet up one day and have a `Lace In`, so we duly assembled to begin our task - now me being me, decided I would knit a piece of lace knitting, just to be different (yes it does count) and started off with high hopes and a complicated pattern - now I don`t know if it was the heat, mistakes in the pattern, or just plain old me, but by lunch time I had frogged and tinked, and tinked and frogged and had absolutely nothing to show for it.

In the end with my only resource being a pattern book our hostess produced, I resorted to a very simple lace pattern and produced a square - now I know it isn`t very much to show for a days work, but it was on old fashioned size 14s with fine crochet cotton, and I found it awfully difficult to knit and eat at the same time - almost everyone had decided to make and bring along some goodies, without anyone realising we were all doing it, and it would have been very rude not to try the various cheese straws, cakes, muffins, biscuits and would you believe, some absolutely divine apple crumble and ice cream..... so much for my diet in readiness for my holiday!

Talking of knitting whilst doing something else, I hadn`t realised it was unusual to knit and read at the same time, (I mean we all knit and watch TV dont we? so I hadn`t thought anything of reading instead) I started it many years ago when my Nan had a blind friend who used to knit the most beautiful lace patterns (makes me feel even more ashamed of my little square above) and being an impressionable teenager at the time I thought if she could do that then I really ought to be able to at least knit stocking stitch without looking - so I did, and then being a book worm decided to combine the two - the only problem is keeping the book open!

Mrs P. really was an amazing knitter, her daughter used to record the pattern onto a tape, but she would only need to listen to it for a couple of repeats and she had it off pat - if she ever did drop a stitch, and living alone too, the first available visitor was enlisted to pick it up for her, including the milkman!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Visiting my favourite shops again

Well what else is a girl supposed to do when she has 6 weeks off, and a 13 year old who loves a bit of retail therapy - besides we need some books for our holiday and I much prefer to buy them from the charity shops - they benefit and so does my purse, plus they end up at another charity shop when we have finished, so everyone is happy. Anyway, I digress, I couldn`t believe my eyes when I found Folk Socks for 50p, (50p !!) I have also been on the look out for the embroidery book since I did a weekend course a year or so ago, and had to have the needles, the only size I don`t have at only 20p a pair. Just how lucky can a girl get?

The two sleeves of the bolero are still two at the moment, though I am getting mighty confused at times as to which I have knitted and where I am going as I am using a circ and knitting straight (though it probably would help if I wasn`t reading at the same time!) - I will persevere for a bit, but may have to resort to long straight needles (which I find unwieldy) or only knitting one at a time, if my poor little brain finds itself still befuddled.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fur coats this weather?!

I know we brits make a hobby of complaining about the weather, but it is a bit warm here at the moment, to put it mildly, but it is the animals that I feel the most sorry for. I`ve put Clover in his run in the shade to let the air circulate, but he is still a hot cross bunny, and poor old Dudley doesn`t know what to do with himself, though biting my ankles seems to help for a few moments!

When DD was a tiny tot, I remember commenting on the poor old puss cat being hot with his fur coat on. Some time later when all was quiet in the other room I looked in to see her examining the cats tummy, "I`m trying to find his buttons" she explained in all seriousness " so he can take his coat off and feel better" ! Ahhh, sweet!

The Bolero (for the much more grown up cat undresser) is coming along and now I remember why I don`t like making cardies, I have done 3 bits and there are still another 2 to go. I am having a go at knitting both sleeves at the same time - any bets as to how long before I forget to change balls of wool and carry straight across both sleeves with the same one?

As for my Bolero, DD and I went shopping yesterday and seeing one very similar to the pattern I have, I was persuaded to try it I have 250g cream cotton DK to find something to knit with! oh well better that than spend all those hours knitting only to find I looked like a grown up in a kiddies cardi! Why do other people look so good in something and I look downright awful?

ps. I am having problems with uploading a photo today, so will try to add something later, blogger permitting.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Manning the phones for Sport Relief

Well womanning them actually, but it doesn`t sound quite the same!

Through a colleague at work I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer to answer the phones for Sport Relief last Saturday at the BT Tower in London. We went up early as the guys who had done this before were very keen to be allocated to the higher level call centre, I just did as I was told not really knowing what to expect - but I have to admit to being a bit taken aback when I was told we were going to the 34th floor! The lift travels at 1400 ft per minute and took approx 30 seconds to reach our destination! but when I stepped out of the lift with shaking legs and my stomach still somewhere around the second floor, it wasn`t just the speed of ascent that took my breath away.
Any thoughts that I might be afraid of heights were immediately forgotten as I walked round and round the building entranced by the views.

It was just as good when night fell, the lights of London were fascinating, but unfortunately the reflections on the glass made a decent photo impossible.

Once the phone lines opened we got under way, and being part of the relief team (with the lovely orange T-shirt to denote my status!) I spent the evening moving from one desk to another to cover the volunteers breaks, and with no way of stopping the call from coming through, we got change overs down to a fine art so as not to miss any donations.

It was incredible how quickly the time passed and before I knew where I was it was midnight and home time, by now of course all the trains down south had stopped running, so we were provided with a black cab to take us home, typically we were the last cab load to be picked up (possibly something to do with a reluctance on the drivers part to go outside of the M25) - and I finally walked in at 3am, tired but happy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It`s arrived, it`s arrived!

My parcel from my Oneskein secret pal was waiting for me on my doorstep and just look what was inside. I`ve done my best to capture the lovely colouring of the yarn, hand dyed with Koolaid, but I still don`t think I have done it justice, the variation doesn`t show on my screen but it reminds me of delicate summer fruits, pavlova, cream, and yummy things.(I know, I know, I can`t help it though) It has a curious fruity smell which I can`t quite put my finger on. It really is beautiful and is jumping up and down screaming `Knit me, Knit me` so as soon as I find the pattern to show it off to it best advantage, I will do just that - I`m thinking a simple lace scarf possibly, but not so involved as to detract from the colouring, hmmmmm.

She has made me some gorgeous stitch markers too, so much nicer than the austrian blind curtain rings I had been using!

Actually, I`m beginning to wonder if my secret pal has been spying on me, not only has she sent super yarn, and lovely stitch markers, but the card that came with them is so good too, she must have been watching Dudley! It is entitled ` Some of the places cats like to sleep...`
1- wherever you are about to sit (yep I can identify with that one)
2- on the clean washing (yes again)
3- on a flower (of course, but you throw some of the soil out first)
4- in the way (Oh DEFINITELY)
5- on a tea towel (if he can)
6- in the cupboard (uh huh)
7- on the draining board (well it`s in the sun)
8- in the pram (I`m sure he would if I had one)
9- on the bread board (given half a chance)
10- behind your head (or on it!)
11 - on your pillow (where else?)

Its all excellent, thank you so much, Puss, I do hope you are getting just as lovely gifts yourself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Knitting amongst the sheep

Wasn`t it hot on Sunday? And I don`t do hot! DD had decided to go swimming with cousins, so DH offered to take me his flying field! He promised me a shady tree, a canvas chair and a couple of hours knitting, so with just a backwards glance at the ironing pile, I took him up on his kind offer.
Though I know many of the flyers (he has been with the club over 20 years) and I often go to the other site (mainly to photograph his models as the magazine RCM & E he writes for always want flying shots) I have never been to the site at Headcorn Airfield. So there I sat, surrounded by Model flyers and plenty of sheep (and associated mess - you don`t wear your best white shoes here!) for a very pleasant knit while DH threw ....

this around the sky, in a quite impressive way. It has a 5` wingspan, in case you were wondering how big it is, and is powered by a small internal combustion engine, whose specifications I won`t bore you with, mainly because the details do tend to go in one ear........

Once we had got past the stereotypical questions about what I was knitting (DD`s pale pink bolero) with the relevant answers, ie... no, I`m to old to want to go through that again, and DD is too young ...(do people really think the only things we knit are for babies!)... I had a good old chat and knit, and I`ve nearly finished the back - which is not bad for me in less than a week, though I know it`s no where near up to the speed of most of you.

Only snag was, the ironing fairy must have gone out too, `cos the pile is still sitting where I left it :0(.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Two Boleros

Yes two boleros, or what ever the plural of bolero is, on the left is DD`s and on the right is mine. Ok, so not quite, but if you use a big bit of imagination and given time that`s what I will have.

I was very impressed by the service from Diane`s knitting Yarns. I placed the order late on Saturday evening, and the yarn was on my doorstep on Tuesday morning. The only way it could have arrived quicker would have been if they`d driven here themselves! A pat on the back to them for their speed, friendly email and for using Royal Mail rather than one of those annoying delivery firms who will insist on leaving a note saying they tried to deliver and will do so again tomorrow, but with no clues as to how to contact them, which is no earthly good to anyone who works and needs to make alternative arrangements. I`d much rather go and pick it up from the post office, than frustratedly wait in the hope that delivery firm will just happen to pick a time when I am at home or DH is off on a lieu day. Sorry, rant over.

Anyway, the Kool Kotton is very nice to knit with, and hopefully the bolero will grow quickly, even though I had to go down two sizes of needle to get the tension right (I always have tension problems with my knitting being `too loose` and was once told by the owner of my old, sadly missed, now closed down, LYS that I obviously found knitting too relaxing!)
I started with DD`s (aren`t I a lovely Mummy) as it is stocking stitch and so doesn`t take too much thinking about. I hope to have it finished for our holiday as requested, and I can well see I will be taking mine too - though probably on the needles!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Knitting with `real` yarn

I am really pleased to be knitting with `real` yarn again after that horrible ladder stuff (- thanks for the comments and it was only the fact that I liked the finished effect that kept me going). It is taking a bit of getting used to the girt fat circs, but at least it will grow quickly, I am making The clutch you`ll never give up from One skein except that I will be giving it up as it is a pressie!

I need to get knitting though, having tried on a bolero in the shop and not liking the price I decided I would knit the lacy version of this.
DD promptly put in her order for the plain one, she only wants it for our hols in August and so did I! I know that for many of you that wouldn`t be a problem, but at the speed I knit!!!!!! Well I have ordered some Kool kotton and will be beavering away to get the bag off the needles for when it comes (I hope.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

At long last

Hooray, I have finally finished the Firefly stole, and here modelled by the lovely Doris (the dressmakers dummy!) is the article itself. DH even commented that it was nice! but I have never known anything so simple take so long - it was only 50 stitches and garter stitch for heavens sake, but I just couldn`t knit normally with that stuff some how. But at long last it`s done, and I can make something else now.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

One skein wonder.

Look what the postman brought me! My One skein pal has obviously been thinking hard and a lovely skein of Noro Kabuto is the result - the colour is so nice too. I haven`t knitted with Noro before, and without any shops locally selling it I have only been able to look at it on the web and imagine - and it is just as nice as I thought it would be. I`m not sure what I will make with it yet, but that`s ok, I`m enjoying fondling it!

The card, in case you wondered, says "Manhood", thought Dickie "is a very serious business" and with the plane in the background is very appropriate (for anyone who doesn`t know, my name comes from the fact that DH spends much of his spare time out flying radio controlled model airplanes!)

So thank you very much Pusscat.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A finished UFO?

Yes, I know it sounds like a contradiction, but here is the picture to prove it. After the trouble I had with this pattern, I`m very pleased with the result and relieved to say my latest creation is proving to be much easier, though there is not enough to show here just yet.

On the knitting front the Firefly shawl is progressing s_l_o_w_l_y, but I will get there soon (I hope).