Monday, 28 May 2007

Spot the deliberate mistake

I'm having one of those days. Well, actually it's probably one of those weekends really. The weather's awful, we're confined to the house and I'm on my second pair of trousers as I got drenched stepping out of the car (again). Not a very auspicious start to the day. Oh and I thought I'd share where I'm up to with my Noni bag. Time for a quick picture I think...So, can you spot the (deliberate??) mistake?
I measured it, measured it again, drew myself a pattern and yes, you guessed it my lining really is bigger than my bag! Doh! Maybe that G&T I mixed last night was stronger than I thought, but no, I prepared the pattern in the afternoon most definately pre-alcohol. So now, I have to remeasure it and re-cut the lining. (Boy am I glad I just tacked the bottom in now) Hmm, it's better that it's too big than too small right? Who am I trying to kid? Grrrrr.
Time to take a deep breath and go and put it right.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Have you ever combed a cow?

It's something that many people can boast of I guess. Still, we did just that. Do you like our cow?
She's at the Highland Cattle Centre, just down the road from the cottage we were staying at last week. When I finally tore DS away from the mini tractors, he thought this was superb fun. They allow you to go into the fields and comb them and then they just throw the hair away for the birds. It seems such a waste! I'm sure you must be able to use it for something but it's so coarse, it'd be no use for spinning. Rope maybe? Hmm.
Couldn't resist having a stroke of these too. The resident alpacas. They are so soft, it's no wonder their wool is so snuggly. Mum came away saying "I want one". Have no idea where she thinks she'd keep it. Still, we can dream.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Ooh a parcel.

Oh I got so excited when the postie knocked on the door a few minutes ago. I thought for one moment she was bringing me my Secret Santa parcel. Ah well, maybe next time.
Still, she did have another for me. I can hear you already, "what's she getting so excited over a cardboard box for? it empty". Well exciting stuff it probably isn't but that's the last bits I need to complete my Noni bag! The extra thick interfacing and a bag bottom. Superb! Just a short battle with the sewing machine to go and I'll be able to reveal the finished article in all it's glory.


Yes I did say stash, new yarn to play with. Yay!
I found a lovely little shop in the Shambles in Alnwick and among the other lovely yarns she had in these .... see those little green labels, yes that's Colinette Jitterbug! How pleased was I? I had to have a bit of a squeeze, it'd have been rude not to.

So, some close ups to make you jealous:

Florentina, a yummy pink and purple mix. Ideal for my sock pal.

and Mardi Gras, a screaming carnival of colours which just, um, slipped into the basket as well and is for me.
Last but not least, is an alternate for sockapalooza. Opal Neon no.1932 - similar shades to the Florentina but with blue and less purple.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Something to make you smile

I'm back and ready to get blogging again. I need to catch up some sleep a little so this is just a quickie but I have lots of things to show and tell. I have new stash and new things to play with but more later once I get the camera working again. So, here's a little something to make you smile in the meantime. Me being silly.

Friday, 11 May 2007

A taste of summer

I'm heading north for a few days tomorrow to see the family so I think I'd better have a quick catch up before heading off. The baby cardi is now almost finished, it needs blocking properly and I still have to pick up the stitches for the cuff on the sleeves. It's very pretty but I think it is probably a bit girlie. I'm still toying with the idea of knitting up a shawl as well but I think that maybe I need to knit another (more boyish) cardigan just in case. I know that I can always give the spare to Nadia for her orphan charity.

I finally got out my dye pots again. The hanks have been wound for more than a week, I was just waiting on some child free time to get busy. These colours have been inspired by the AY Summer Secret Santa and are called Raspberry Ripple and SkyBluePink, they're both 4ply, 100% wool. I haven't decided whether these will be gifted in my SS parcel yet or not. They're handwash so they can't be used for my Sockapalooza Pal either but I haven't ruled out dyeing them a special colour yet either. I don't think I have a suitable yarn in my stash to dye (even with recent purchases) so I'd need to do a spot of shopping. Any excuse hey.

I'm about to go and get my knitting bag packed. I've got to make sure I've plenty of things to keep me busy as I have a six hour car journey tomorrow. (yuck!) Luckily I won't be having to drive it all myself but I may end up spending the time keeping DS amused. He's just come down with chicken pox. Talk about perfect timing - 3 days before the holiday! Still, the cottage is booked and we're expected so there's no going back. It should be a good week so long as the weather improves. Unfortunately, Northumbria in the rain can be pretty bleak.

Hmm, what to take with me? I've already got the Monkeys OTN and the baby cardi to finish. I think I'll stick the spare ball of baby wool in and I've a ball of Opal Toucan to knit up which I think might end up as another pair of licketysplit socks. I want to test out Kay's Parasol socks or Bronte's Cairi's Sweetheart socks as well at some point as atm they're my patterns of choice for Sockapalooza. Although, I think that maybe I need a plainer yarn for those than the Toucan so as not to swamp the lace patterns. Hmm, best get to packing then.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Musings on yarn choice

So after a little more stalking, and another check on the Sock Pal's requirements, I have finally decided on a colour palette to knit my socks in. I'm looking for something with shades of pink and purple and possibly blue. I have a pattern in mind so now, I just need to source the yarn.

No problem you might think. Well, that's what I thought until I started looking seriously. I have found the almost perfect colourway in some LL Shepherd sock (which btw, I am dying to try) but not only am I not sure I'd be able to part with them afterwards, my SP is american. Is it just me or does it seem daft to buy american yarn (that is obviously more readily available to her) when there is so much British wool available over here?

Hmm, do you ever have those moments when you just think "Doh"? I think I just had one so I'm off the check the Colinette website for some Jitterbug. I've been eyeing it up for a while, it might be just the ticket :D

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

My first Monkey

A strange title for a post perhaps but I do my mean Monkey socks not small furry animals! I cast them on yesterday and am ready to start the 5th pattern repeat for the leg. This is my first time using the long tail cast on (I'm a cable girl usually) and it's certainly stretchy. I um, had to try them on after 2 repeats just to check of course. I think it's definately going to be my preferred method for top down socks from now on. That's assuming I don't run in panic back to my comfort zone of the toe up method.

I was getting a bit concerned that the pattern was using too much yarn but I've checked my tension and it seems ok. Last time I used this yarn from the NDS, I used bigger needles and ended up with lots left over so I'm sure (I hope) I'm worrying unnecessarily. So anyhow, pictorial progress:

I'm enjoying knitting these so it could be a first of many.

The baby cardi for Lorna's baby is well under way now. The back is all done now - it's so dinky! I've got used to knitting for DS and he's grown so much, it's hard to believe sometimes that he was actually this small! I really must check up to see when her due date is as I've not heard from her for a while. I found an old Emu pattern tucked away in my cache for some 3ply vests. I'm knitting up the wrap version but am having to adapt it slightly to sub in 4ply. I know it's supposed to be a vest but I think it'll be fine for a lightweight summer cardigan.

There's really not that much to see at this stage (it is the back after all!) but I should be able to get some way into the first front this evening if the lure of the Monkey's isn't too strong. It should be really pretty when it's all done and hopefully it won't be too girly in case she has a boy!

Monday, 7 May 2007

Buttons, buttons and more buttons

No pictures today but I am pleased with myself all the same, I have been teaching myself to be a blog nerd! Not before time you might think but today's novelty is that I can now add buttons to my blog and linkable ones too! Ah, it's the little things that keep us all amused isn't it.

So now I find myself looking at other people's blogs in a whole new light and am making a collection of lovely little icons to be added at a later date. Now all I have to do is to make sure that the novelty doesn't overwhelm me and that this ends up looking like an accident in a button factory!

To be fair, I haven't just been browsing blogs all day (fun though that can be). I have been making the most of the fact that it's been pouring with rain most of the day and have cast on the first of my Monkeys for the AY sockathon. I also got a little stalking done on my Sockapalooza Pal. She's got some great posts about Elizabeth Zimmerman (which is one of my current fascinations) but I'll post some more on that at another time.

Actually, come to think of it, I did get more done today than I thought. Anyhow, I'm off to see if there's an update on the AY Secret Santa Summer Holiday.

Saturday, 5 May 2007


It's huge! Officially! So much so, that Blogger can't keep up and I am one of the unlucky ones who hasn't been able to contribute to the main blog so far. Grrr. I've got to get my head round the alternative suggestions to be able to post. I'm still relatively new to this whole blogging lark so it looks like there's still a lot for me to learn out there. Like making this button linkable for starters.


*waves* Hello sock pal. Yes sorry in my enthusiasm to join up, I was a little vague in my requirements. Anyhow, I love vibrant colours (Please no yellow or orange as main colours). Looking at my recent purchases am going through a bit of a red and green phase again at the moment. Machine washable is useful but I already hand wash a couple of pairs so that's no real biggie if they're not. Am I being more helpful? I'm not sure I'm being specific enough or not as this is my first sock exchange. I think maybe I don't always post on here regularly enough but I can usually be found loitering on the AY Knitting Forums.

I have checked out my stalkee (is that even a word?), and am thinking I know what yarn to use for her. She's American and wants them machine washable so I'm thinking perhaps using some Opal or Trekking. If I can find some undyed, I might even do a special for her as she's been very specific about her range of colour choices. I'm still unsure about a pattern as yet but luckily there's plenty of time to go and there's a few I've been looking at trying out recently. I'm still not entirely sure whether I should be contacting her myself or not. I noticed several people posting comments about not receiving anything from their partners yet. Perhaps I should drop by and say hello. Her blog has some very interesting stuff on it after all.

Slowly does it

One of the things about having a large and mature garden is that there is always work to do. This time of year is probably the busiest, everything's growing like crazy (including the weeds) and with the lovely sunny weather we've been having it's hard to keep on top of it all. So, much as I miss it, my knitting time has mostly been reduced to the evenings.

That being said, I'm managing to keep ticking over. My IVY continues to grow, albeit slowly and I've now turned the heel on the second of the Lickety Split socks. They fit me so nicely, I'm still toying with the idea of keeping them and making my sister another pair. Either way, I need to knit these again. Still as I want to cast on my Monkeys as soon as the DPNs are free, the next pair of these could be waiting a little longer.

As a little aside from the socks and the UFOs I have knitted up this little bag. Once felted it should be around the right size for a purse. The main chocolate colour is Twilleys Freedom and the stripes are in tapestry wool I found in the local Hospice shop. It's 100% wool so it should felt nicely and at 25p a skein, I couldn't really lose! I think I'll be back to raid their basket for some more very soon :)

New Shoes

Here's a little something I was going to share before my internet connection so rudely interupted yesterday. My new crocs. Yes they are a little on the ugly side but hey, that's what I like about them. They're so light and they're green!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Inspired to dye again

I came home last friday with the urge to start dyeing again and promptly went on a search for yarn. My friends have decided to start what they're calling a "working mum's initiative" and had their first sale on Friday. All sorts of handicrafts and things, - although no knitted items I noticed! I hadn't been able to be involved in this last one due to other commitments (and my dodgy elbow) but next time around, I'm in. Yay, an outlet for something I enjoy and the potential to make a little money from it too. Superb.

So anyhow, the postie arrived this morning with a couple of squishy parcels. Some lovely undyed 4ply ready for me to play...
and a little something I couldn't resist buying. Forest Herb (left) and Dark Candy, both luxury sock yarn from NDS.

I've been ogling the Natural Dye Studio yarn for weeks, ever since I knitted up the first lot of bought. Widdershins from Knitty in NDS Harebell luxury sock yarn. Not the best picture perhaps (I haven't worked out the fine art of taking pictures of your own feet yet) but they did knit up very nicely.

I'm itching to get started but I think I need to get the sewing machine cleaned up and the lining stitched up for my Noni bag. I don't know why I keep putting it off.

FC Blocked and some socks

All blocked and ready to wear, well once the ends are darned in. The final dimensions came in at 1.7m x 76cm (or in old money 67" x 30"). It's pretty big and long enough to reach my fingertips with both arms outstretched. Fab!

Am already considering another one but I think perhaps, I should try another lace project first.

Oh and a close up.

My Tabi socks are coming on nicely too.
The first is finished and have now cast on for the second. I'm pretty pleased with them and using the stripey yarn like this, you definately don't need either the intarsia or the false button flap at the back.
Although the colours work together nicely, they wouldn't be my first choice if I was knitting them for me. I think my sis will be pretty pleased with them although mum commented again the other evening that she couldn't see the point of knitting them. I'm not entirely sure whether she means socks in general or just this particular pair!