Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The final countdown

Wow, time flies. I can't believe it's been quite so long since I last posted. Anyhow it's all go here and we're now counting down the days til we fly off for sunnier climes. The tickets are here and after much nail biting and hair pulling, the visas are through at last. We're actually going to Australia!One week to go, now it's just the packing, and all the last minute things I can squeeze in before we go.

So tickets, passports, visas, suitcase, small child. Hmm anything else?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

woohoo stash!

or rather, lets take a look at what fell into my bag at Ally Pally.

I finally made it to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this year and wow, what a revelation. It was a horrendously early start involving a couple of buses and a coach trip into London but boy was it worth it. Once inside and I got my first sight of the crochet hyperbolic reef, I even forgave the two ladies who sat behind me talking beading at the tops of their voices for the whole of the journey there (and actually all the way home again!). It's about fifteen years since I've been to Ally Pally - I went to my University May Ball there, and I'd forgotten quite how big it is. It's massive and for the show, filled wall to wall with every type of knitting, stitching, embroidery and textile craft need I could possibly have. I've never been to a "knitting show", let alone one on that scale and reckon I spent most of the first hour wandering round with my mouth hanging open. I'd originally planned to go along Nadia, one of my fellow Colchester knitters but a family funeral intervened and I found myself wandering around for the first hour by myself. Even though I've travelled quite extensively by myself in the past, I actually find attending these sort of events by myself quite daunting so I was really pleased when I bumped into Helen (another friend from Colchester) after an hour and we trundled around together for the rest of the day. I was pretty restained and am glad I went with a budget, it would be so easy to spend a fortune there although apart from a few special offers, there weren't many savings to be made for buying there and then. For me what was so great was being able to go round and have a squish of the yarn. Yes, I have to admit it, I spent most of the day stroking yarn like a real weirdo. Still with so many yarn brands on hand that I'd never seen in the flesh, it would have been rude not to. In the end I came home with mostly sock yarns and all brands I couldn't get locally so here goes, here's my photo haul. First the socks yarns, Lang Jawoll Cotton Jacquard, Noro and some Fabel. All of which I've been wanting to try. The Noro has a definate crunchy feel to it so I'm hoping it's going to wash up much softer - I have heard rumours of people using conditioner on it but I hope I won't have to go to those lengths. Baby alpaca laceweight from Knitncaboodle. I just have to have it, it's so soft! and finally some fibre from Piiku. I absolutely love the colour but don't think it's suitable for spinning. I can feel a needle felt endeavour coming on. Just wish I'd remembered to buy some needles for it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

So what gives?

I promised a proper catch up a while back and so I guess I'd better spill what's been going on and where I'm at. There's not going to be much knitting content (if any) in this post so feel free to stop reading now.

So what gives? I mentioned previously that I was lacking motivation to write and well that's mostly because I've been a little stressed out by recent events. This is mainly a knitting blog so I've probably never made it clear about how my life is set up but basically I'm a single parent and I have a beautiful little boy who's now in school. I'm just beginning to get my life back on track. Or so I thought. We have a pretty good relationship with his family but at the end of the day, being on opposite sides of the world is never easy and it's been about three years since we actually saw the MM's father. So where is this going? Well that would be the sudden offer of plane tickets to Australia and the complete emotional roller coaster that it started.

I think I have gone from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other over the last few months and it's left me completely reeling. I swear I'm spottier now than I ever was as a teenager! From unsatisfactory meetings with the school headmaster to negotiating with the education board to take holiday during term time. I ended up writing almost an essay on the school holiday application to justify why exactly I am choosing to disrupt his education and how I'm going to work around this. I'm generally a fairly private person (yes I do know I write a blog) but have had to lay myself open emotionally to almost complete strangers. I've never felt more out of control in my life and I don't like it. I'm obviously more like my mother than I realised - I'm a closet control freak!

Just when I thought it was all sorted out and the tickets arrive, I get slammed again this time by the bureaucrats of the Australian government. Get this, to enable the MM to have a tourist visa to visit Australia, I now have to prove that I have the sole legal right to make decisions for him. So now, I have to go and find myself a solicitor and get them to certify copies of his birth certificate to say that yes, I have. Who'd have thought back then I'd have been so pleased now that his father wasn't there to register his birth?! Once I've sent that to them then will then "reconsider" his application. Getting his first passport was a complete breeze by comparison.

Still, there are lots of positives to this trip too and once I've finished detangling all the red tape we can start thinking about actually packing our bags. The trip's planned for the end of November so I guess I should really start counting down now.

Sometimes I've been happy, sometimes I've been gloomy but can I just say a great big thank you to all my friends who have listened to me and talked me down (or up) when I've needed it. I raise my cuppa to you all seeing as it's far to early in the day to be anything stronger. So anyhow, now that that's all out of the way normal service can resume and the (ir)regular knit posts can continue.

She spins!

As you might have guessed from a previous post, I have a spinning wheel now, albeit a loaner and I love it. The day I picked it up, I went straight home, grabbed some fibre and started playing. In fact, I played with it so much that weekend, I gave myself backache and set off my elbow again. I had to stop knitting for a few days until it settled down. Still, it was worth it, I can spin. Well, sort of. I span two singles from the remains of the Corriedale from my spindle kit and ended up with marmelade yarn. It's pretty slubby and very bright but it's definately yarn. I signed up for the first of Diane's Spin tutorials and broke out the BFL from my PM Woolcraft splurge and merrily span away. I'm actually really pleased with this yarn, it's so soft and the colours are fantastic. It reminds my of Monet's waterlilies - a very happy accident as I just asked for a mixture of blues and greens.
Finally I span the Corriedale from Babylonglegs and now have this funky green yarn.I've no idea what I'm going to make with it any of it yet but who cares!

The thing about leaving it such a long time in blogging is that life moves on so quickly and I've been back to the Spinning Guild since I started writing this. I can't give all the ladies there enough praise as they are so friendly and helpful. I'm still spinning away on my borrowed wheel and loving it. I've currently got some of my own dyed corriedale on the bobbin (the berry coloured one on the right) and am making plans for the merino I bought. This time at the guild, we had a drum carder and hackle demonstration which was superb. I'm all inspired and seeing the simple construction of the hackle, I think I might have a go at building one. The guild do own both a hackle and a drum carder but I'm at the back of a long queue to get hold of either. Needs must and I can't wait that long!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

FO - Crochet BSJ

Well, strictly speaking it's not actually a baby surprise jacket, it's the All-in-One Crochet Cardigan pattern from Stitch Stud. By hey, it's basically a rather clever crochet version of the pattern without the catchy name. I used the US version and translated it myself as I was too impatient to wait for the UK one to come out but you can get both from his website if you click the pattern link. Hey ho.
Right the project details, I used Sirdar Baby Bonus DK and whilst it looks completely yellow on the picture is actually strands of yellow and white plied together. I know it's acrylic yarn but I go back to the Sirdar Bonus again and again as it's so practical and incredibly good value. The pattern used almost a complete ball of yarn. One of these days I will actually remember to measure the size of the finished pattern but from memory it was probably for about a 3 month size baby.

For some reason, I decided to use the 4mm bamboo hook that I got free with Let's Knit and while I persevered and used it throughtout, I don't think I'll be using it again. I'm not sure I like bamboo hooks (perhaps it's just the cheap ones?), in fact I have some bamboo dpn's too and again I find they're just a bit too grippy. Good for some yarns I guess so I'm not going to be chucking them out just yet. I'll be going back to my old metal aero's for the next project. I guess these days they'd probably be described as vintage but I love them. They're so smooth and the grip is in just the right place.

Will I make the pattern again? Yes for sure. I just need someone else to have another baby to give me another excuse to make it again!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

I'm here, more or less.

spinning 019
Originally uploaded by Bearium

Sorry not a very inspiring title for a post but it's been a funny couple of weeks and I just can't get motivated enough to blog. So I'll leave you with a hint of one of the things I've been up to and a promise of a big update soon with lots of pictures.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

FO - Mitred booties

Mitred booties
Originally uploaded by Bearium

I've been hoarding this pattern for a while now waiting for an opportunity to knit it up and now one of my friends is about to give birth, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Pattern: Party Popper from the December 2005 edition of Knitting Magazine.
Needles: 2.75mm bamboo dpns
Yarn: Patons Fairytale Dreamtime and Mondial Merinos Extra.

I've probably not even used half of each ball and the next time I do them I'll definately be using a self patterning yarn. There are enough ends to darn in without creating yourself extra work and adding stripes yourself!

Need more fibre in your diet?

I currently love my postman, admittedly I have been stalking him for the last few days, but today he brought me this fabulous pile of squishy fibre - nearly a kilo of it! There's 100g an amazing blue green blend of BFL that reminds me of Monet's Waterlilies and then 250g of merino in scarlet, pink and purple and to top that 500g of undyed Corriedale. I'm not quite sure what to do first spin or dye. So in the meantime I'll sit and stroke it.For someone with just a spindle this latest splurge may seem a bit excessive but I have news. Spinning wheel type news. I took myself off to Lavenham last Monday to visit the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers and met the most wonderful bunch of ladies (and one gent). I was absolutely blown away by their welcome, they sat me down had a chat, offered me some tuition and then uttered those magic words, "would you like to try my wheel?". They were incredibly patient as I messed up time and again but I loved it. I got to try an Ashford Traditional (which coincidentally was for sale), a Louet S10 a Kromski Polonaise (I think) and a Sonata. I think the Sonata was probably my favourite, the double treadle action seemed to be really smooth and I definately found it easier to master. Still a Sonata is a bit out of my price range for now but I can dream. I enjoyed myself so much I found myself signing up for membership there and then and to top it all, one of the members is going to loan me a wheel. She's moved onto an Ashford Traveller but has an old traditional sitting in her spare room unused. She just happens to be passing through Colchester on Friday so I'm going to meet her and collect it. Whoohoo!!

Learning to spin with a wheel is like learning to drive a car all over again but I can't wait to getting cracking. Roll on Friday I say!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

15 minutes of fame

Did I mention some while back I went on a secret knitting mission and got paid for it? I think I did and I've been meaning to blog about this again for a while. Anyhow, see those new batch of Lets Knit knitting demonstration videos, the ones from July onwards? that's me that is!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

On the needles

So in between trying to get everything updated for the shop, getting ready for the start of the new term and dealing with "the family" and what could turn be an ongoing problem with my grand parents, sometimes I do actually knit.

I managed to get my parcel posted finally for the UK Swap and the best news is that Caroline seems to be quite pleased with it. I forgot to take a picture of the bits before I posted it but if you wander past her blog here, you can take a look.
Having been bought a set of Addi Lace needles (thanks again Machelle), I've also rediscovered my love for the Mystery Shawl. I fixed the mistake and it's now going swimmingly. Well, fudged the mistake would probably be a better description. Having unpicked it and redone the increase row twice already there was no way on this earth I was going to do it again. Two extra stitches? no problem! A couple of discreetly placed extra decreases later and I defy you to find the "corrections". I have also discovered though that while I can sit and knit lace in front of the tv, taking it along to SnB is one step too far. We gossip too much for me to concentrate! Also, (sorry I'm wittering on a bit tonight) you see that tucked under the shawl? I finally got my sticky mitts on a copy of A Gathering of Lace and I am so going to have to find the money and buy a copy - it's superb! I'm always a bit reluctant to just send away for books as I like to know I'm actually going to get some use out of them first. The local book shops will always order things in but they don't carry a stock of knitting books, Colchester is obviously considered just a bit too provincial and probably not trendy enough. So I now have another whole set of things to add to my to do list.
More often these days I spin or dream about spinning. My latest ram raid on the Essex library service netted me these and I've been devouring them ever since. I would dearly love to buy a wheel but I just can't justify it at the moment. Unfortunately there are too many other things that have had to take priority (grr, Clarkes shoes!) and there's also the possibility of a trip to Australia in the next few months. Just the small matter of cutting through the bureaucratic nightmare that is our education system to make it actually happen. So anyhow I've been investigating the possibility of actually making one myself. I think I need to do a bit of further investigation but it could happen. Maybe. That is if I can resist the lure of ebay and the chap who's selling reconditioned Louet's and I can get over the "I want it and I want it now" thing that I have going on at the moment.So while I wait for my newest parcel of fibre to arrive, here's some progress pictures. Singles number two and three from the spindle. I still haven't plied these yet as they are so completely different and I also got sidetracked by the rest of the undyed Corriedale that came with this. I was in the middle of sorting out the stuff for my swap parcel when I suddenly thought, I know why don't I dye it and spin it up. After having a bit of a panic that I'd felted it by accident (I was probably being a bit impatient about it drying) it actually turned out rather nicely. When my new fibre arrives I think I might try and repeat this colourway or something similar to it for myself.

New Bags!

Time for a quick shop update as today I'm adding the first of my hand bags so here's a sneaky peak. So long as the power doesn't go off again I'll be adding the rest of the yarn too. I've also had my first sale too (thanks Annette). Rightyho, best get a wriggle on or it'll be time for the next round of the school run again.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

A little late but the shop is live!

Well it's been a bit of a strange week over here at Bearium Towers and I think I'll be pleased when I return to the normality of the school run next week. Suffice it to say, the shop got a little delayed. Anyhow I'm pleased to say, it's live and you can check it out here. I still have lots more to put on there including some of my hand bags. I'm thinking about making up some bag kits too anyhow, I'd appreciate any feedback.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

An award and an update

Probably one of the things that keeps me blogging about what I do is that the wider blogging community are so friendly. You try things, sometimes you fail, sometimes you produce something amazing either way, there's always someone who's interested. They might be able to offer suggestions for improvements or who can inspire you to try something new or to go on and create something even better.A few days ago Machelle nominated me for one of the I heart your blog awards.
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated

I'm going to give the first one to Vixx of Monkeyfeet. She's still a relatively new knitter in the scheme of things but has thrown herself head first into it with a passion and her business Wild Fire Fibres is going from strength to strength. I'm going to give another award to both Kate and Diane who continue to inspire me. Kate has produced some of the most beautiful knitted lace I've seen over the last few months and I am in awe of Diane's spinning prowess. Somewhere between all that they are finding time to produce The Inside Loop magazine. If you're not already reading it, why not? Issue 3 has just gone live.
I love Moggle's blog as apart from becoming a published designer recently, she writes great reviews. Kai's blog gets a vote too, I've been following her blog pretty much since I discovered the blogopshere. She's been learning to spin over the last year too and I've been ogling her wheels and fibre for ages. I'm beginning to see a bit of a common theme here as many of these blogs have quite a bit of spinning going on at the moment! I'll nominate Elaine too as she's been knitting up a storm recently and never fails to make me smile with her highs and lows. She always takes such lovely pictures of her projects too. Cinders blog is always interesting too as she somehow manages to juggle life, knitting and dyeing with her illness. I have to take my hat off to her as she doesn't seem to let it hold her back. Finally I'm going to add another blog that I discovered randomly through Ravelry. Well, not entirely randomly as I was searching how to build a spinning wheel and I came across She Who Measures, a girl definately after my own heart. She has this amazing small holding and is an incredible bodger of the "why buy it if you can build it yourself" variety. Very inspirational, I can definately see me trying to have a go myself in the near future :D
I could keep on adding more and more people as most of the blogs that I return to are pretty amazing. So if you're reading this, give yourself a pat on the back.

Right on to the update, it's been a bit of a battle to get near the computer this last week. Everyone's been stressed out and wanting to be online of an evening to wind down. So belately I'm pleased to announce that The Bear Necessities shop will be live by tomorrow morning. I was hoping to have been able to have got this done by last Friday so I'm determined to have everything uploaded this afternoon/evening even if it means trying people down to get them out of the way!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

UK Swap: Yay, my parcel arrived!

After the afternoon I've had (involving the MM, the kitchen sink and some plaster of paris), I have something to make me smile again. Here's my yummy smelly and squishy parcel courtesy of Machelle - isn't she a star?! Where shall I start? Well, there's yarn of course, a skein of very soft undyed slub yarn and a ball of Lana Grossa Mille in my favourite shade of red. My very first Knit Picks needles. Wooden DPN's in teeny 2mm size - I had to take them along to my knitting group on Tuesday night to show everyone. Another Addi Turbo to complete my set of 3mm circulars and some lush smellies. They're by Michelle Wishi and smell fab. There was a bar of chocolate but it's almost completely gone after this afternoon! and there's also some drinking chocolate which I can see me having this evening to unwind. The buttons are hand made by Machelle herself. I'll have to find something lovely to put them onto and perhaps take a better picture as well. Thanks once again Machelle, it's a fab parcel :D

Now I'd best get the last bits of my own one wrapped up and get it in the post too. I've definately got something to live up to!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

You spin me right round

This time it's all about the spinning. I'm having a bit of an extended goldfish moment at the mo - I have so many projects on the go, I'm not sure I'm making a great deal of progress on anything. There is a partially started jumper on the knitting machine, three new patterns in the works, I still haven't finished the crochet BSJ and I'm about a third of the way through my Shetland Shorty. Not to mention the countless other WIPs - I definately need to have a UFO busting session again.
Anyhow, back to the point of the post. Those of you that have been loitering around here for a while might remember that some while ago I bought a spindle starter kit. I did a little when I first got it but then I put it down again. Roll on a few months of me ogling everyone else's spinning on their lovely new wheels and I have the bug again. I would blame the lovely ladies over at the AY forum who are "spinning along" but to be honest, the urge was already there. The first batch was really lumpy, but by the time I'd wound that off onto a handy toilet roll and spun another spindle full, I was beginning to get the hang of it a bit more. I bodged myself a lazy kate type device using a couple of knitting needles stuck in the top of a box and a hair grip and plied (cobbled would be a better description) the two strands together and hey presto, I have something vaguely resembling yarn. It's slubby, it's very orange and there's only about 20m of it, but it's yarn and I made it. Woohoo! I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it but I'm sure I'll think of something. At this point progress on all my WIP came to a halt, spinning fever had struck and I raided the cupboard for some more fibre. Yes, I really did have fibre stashed away already. (Some of it came with the spindle but I also had some from a yarn swap a while back.) So here's yarn number two. I've actually added a bit more to it since the picture was taken but look there's definately progress. There's far fewer slubby bits and I'm ever so slightly pleased with myself :D So much so that I went out and ordered some more fibre.
I keeping taking this one out to have a peak as it's lovely. My ultimate aim is to be able to spin my own sock yarn but I might not be able to wait that long to spin this. It's from the lovely Sarah aka BabyLongLegs and is 100g of Corriedale roving in Neptune. It's the most vibrant sea greens and I love it. Not only that it's got me thinking spinning wheels again.

Monday, 18 August 2008

FO - Baby Babette

Baby Babette
Originally uploaded by Bearium

I've been meaning to update this for a while as this was finished for the start of the holidays. It's my Babette style blanket for my friend's baby who arrived on the last day of term and to my surprise has been called Lucy!
I'm really pleased I chose the Stylecraft Kon Tiki yarn as the blanket has turned out beautifully. In all it took almost 8 balls - 2 balls of each colour for the body of the blanket and one each of the two greens for the edging.
As much as I absolutely love it now that it's done, the sewing up was a real bind. Fair play to those that have made the full sized blanket, I think I'd have been suicidal had I got to stitch the full number together!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Brushing off the dust

I may or may not have mentioned at some point that I have a knitting machine stashed away. Apart from a very brief daliance when I first acquired it, it's mostly been gathering dust in the corner of the spare room. Til now that is. I had one of those very bright ideas (the sort I often regret an hour later) that the mighty midget and I could have a play with it and perhaps make him a jumper. Knowing how he loves anything mechanical, I also thought he'd get a bit of a kick out of it too.
Finding the machine was no problem. There it was all tucked away in it's case in the corner, the manual of course, was another thing entirely. I fished around in my cupboard and pulled out a box of what I knew contained bits for the machine. Old issues of Knitting Machine magazines, pattern books, stitch libraries, piles of pre punched pattern cards and even a few blanks to make more. To my horror (and having just promised the MM a new "toy" to play with), the instructions were nowhere to be found! Two hours of pulling things out of my jam packed cupboard and once I'd finished sneezing from all the dust I had a sudden epiphany and looked in the boxes that I'd bought to store my yarn stash in. Sure enough, tucked away neatly were the instructions, a complete set of tools and another ball winder and even better, a swift.
Breathing a sigh of relief all round, we got on with the business in hand and now have a somewhat cleaner and definately far less dusty machine. I've oiled it and now it's running like a dream. Now I just have to work out what I'm doing with it. The MM has of course already had a go and after I'd cast him on the back for his jumper, he cracked off most of the back in no time.
The only down side of letting your five year old at the knitting machine is that he has this insatiable need to twiddle all the knobs and dials. So I am going to be counting all the rows up to the sleeves to try and match the fronts. For some reason I'm guessing that the 931 rows on the row counter may be just a little way out!Thanks for the comments on the Toucan socks. With the star toe, the decreases (or increases if you're working from the bottom up) are spread evenly all around the toe rather than being at the sides. You also go down to a far smaller number of stitches and that combined with the way that the decrease rows are spread apart is what gives you a much rounder toe. If anyone's interested, I'll post my pattern notes .

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

FO - Toucan toe ups

Toucan toe ups
Originally uploaded by Bearium

Size: UK 6 made for Hazel
Pattern: my own, toe up with a star toe and afterthought heels
Needles: 2.5mm BB dpns
Yarn: Opal Rainforest Toucan 4ply

I really like the shaping that the star toe gives - it's a much rounder toe than many others. These are my first pair using an afterthought heel and it was definately a good way of matching the stripes. All in all, I was really pleased with the way they came out and Hazel has already ordered another pair this time long enough to wear in her wellies!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Hello all, yes I really did seem to drop off the planet. The school holidays have arrived. We've been far busier than I expected - and to think that I was really worried that the mighty midget and I were going to be tearing each other apart by now! I even managed to wear him out on a couple of occasions. My, aren't they adorable when they're sleeping? Anyhow, we're home from our trip to Manchester and getting in to the swing of this holiday lark. Mind you, I was ready for a holiday from my holiday by the time I got back. I think my sister was pleased to get her house back too (she certainly was ready for a respite from the MM). Blog posting should hopefully be returning to normal again. I have some FO's, a new (well dug out of a cupboard) knitty toy to play with and some knitalongs too, oh and an etsy shop to launch. Yay! but first I need some sleep.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Real life, an interlude

Wow do I have some serious posting catch up to do?! The blog's been a little quiet the last couple of weeks as it's been a little busy around here. With this being the mighty midget's first year at school, I hadn't realised how much they cram into the last couple of weeks of term! We've had the school fete, the sports day that had to be rescheduled because of the weather, the day trip to the beach. The meet the new teacher evening. It just seems to have been a never ending whirlwind! Still only two more days to go and then we can take a breather.

So anyway now to the pictures. The mummy returns.... somehow I managed to volunteer myself to build two 5ft oscars to decorate the entrance to the school fete. That'll teach me for having a glass of wine at tea time. Still, it was good fun. I haven't done papier mache on such a large scale for a long time. A couple of cans of spray paint later and we have the finished statue complete with red carpet. This year's theme for the fete was the movies (hence the oscars) and Class R picked the Little Mermaid and danced to the song "Under the Sea". They'd made head and wrist bands in class and we had to send them along in brightly coloured clothes. It was so cute!You'll have to excuse the slightly fuzzy photo's as I had to use my phone to take them. Last but not least are a couple of shots from sports day.
The mighty midget gurning as usual and an action picture from the sack race. Sometimes there are definate perks to this mummy business :D

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

UK Swap, Question #5

1. Go Green!!!, 2. kalayo, 3. Gone Fishin', 4. papapapapapapaaaa..., 5. Star light, Star Bright, 6. Gizmo, 7. View from Beeley Moor, 8. Just hanging around, 9. ready for the party......???, 10. a good wine, 11. . And now for something completely different ., 12. 'stick' together, 13. This is your cat on drugs., 14. Language of the Genes, 15. top o' the card catalog, 16. zero gravity

It's not so long since I did one of these mosaics but hey, it was fun the first time round so why not again? Actually it's fun trying to see how random you can actually make the images while answering the question. So anyhow want to see how I got there?

1. Stop or go? go
2. Going out or Staying in? staying in
3. Small town or big city? small town
4. Happy or sad? happy
5. Straights or Circulars? circular
6. Red or Blue? red
7. Seaside or countryside? countryside
8. Fish or chips? fish
9. Surprises or plans? surprises
10. Wine or beer? wine
11. Sweaters or cardigans? cardigan
12. Pizza or Pasta? pasta
13. Chopsticks or fork? chopsticks
14. Early Bird or Night Owl? night owl
15. Knitting or crochet? knitting
16. Hot or cold? cold

ok, that's me done. Now off to find some actual knitting content :)

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Another BSJ?

It's been a few months since I made my BSJ and I've been looking for an excuse to make another to a while. Imagine my delight when I was browsing the BSJ group (Ravelry link) and discovered that there was a crochet version in the works. I managed to bag myself a copy of the pattern as soon as it was published and went stash diving for something suitable.Here's how it looked over the weekend (when we still had sunshine!). I'd ground to a bit of a halt at this point as I wasn't sure whether I'd made a mistake or not but then Monday night, I had a bit of an epiphany and it's now racing along again. If it carries on like this, it'll be done before the weekend.

Just in case you fancy a go, the pattern is courtesy of Stitch Stud and you can get it here :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Revenge of the mystery shawl

Originally uploaded by Bearium

also known as the mystery shawl strikes back.

Yes, it's started already and the mistakes are beginning to flow. I thought I was doing so well. I whistled through Clue 2 and decided to crack straight on with Clue 3 only to get to the end of the first row and discover I was short by a couple of stitches.

Everything was fine before the increase row and as my enthusiasm hadn't waned at this point I gamely frogged back a couple of rows. I noticed that I'd missed a couple of yarn overs so put them back in and finished the row. Decided it was probably a good idea to put all the stitch markers back in during the following knit row and guess what? I have too many stitches now! Argggghh.

It's been sat like that since last Friday. They published Clue 4 last Saturday. I'm really slipping behind :(

New shoes!

I do have knitting progress, really I do but I have new shoes too! I haven't given up on the idea of some clear converse yet but these are really comfy and I reckon, big enough to wear socks with. Yay. Not sure that many of my current hand knit won't clash horribly with the shoes but hey, that just means I have an excuse to knit more.Now I just need to find a few more hours in the day. Ho hum.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Swaps again and goodies for me!

I mentioned that I got a parcel last week as part of the last AY Knitting Forum swap, well here's mine in all it's glory. (I did battle with the camera and won) Look, I got goodies! There's a beaker with sheep on it, some pencils with more sheep. A big fluffy pen, some nail varnish with spangles in and some of my favourite chocolate, mint Green and Blacks! It was all wrapped up beautifully and tucked into the bottom was a fabulously soft green lace scarf. I will have to try and get a better picture because it's really hard to capture the colour which is a very deep green/blue. Will have to check what yarn Ruth used as it's lovely and if I get over my phobia of lace weight, I might have to get some more.
Thanks again Ruth :D