Monday, 30 June 2008

Swaps and secret knitting revealed

I can finally post about one of my secret knitting projects now that it's in the possession of it's new owner. I signed up to the last Angel Yarns Knitting Forums swap before I realised quite how busy I was going to be last month. It was a bit of a mad dash as I was juggling so many things but I got there in the end, albeit a little late. Paula aka Sockaholic got the parcel this morning and I think she's pleased with it all. The main part is a horseshoe lace stole in Jojoland Melody. Inspired by Jacqui who started a KAL for this, I used the stitch pattern from Heirloom Knitting and added a garter stitch border to help keep it's shape. It took two balls in all and once blocked it ended up 13" by about 56" - I actually lost the piece of paper I wrote the sizes down on so I can't remember the exact length :s Suffice to say, it was plenty long enough. I might make myself one at some point too as I rather liked it :)
I also made a little project tote, just the right size for carry round a pair of socks or something similar. I'm definately going to be making myself one of these, it's so handy. I used the tutorial on Drago[knit]fly's blog which was really helpful. I'm sure some of you are plenty handy enough with a sewing machine to have a go yourselves. Finally I added a skein of merino sock yarn in shades of blue. I'm hoping to be able to repeat that colourway because it really was lovely. Mind you, the yarn is so soft it probably wouldn't matter what colour you dyed it.

Hmm, I'm completely getting off the point. I also got a fabulous parcel in return from Ruth aka thegirlthatknits. Unfortunately, my camera is refusing to give up the pictures tonight (technology grrr) so I'm hoping to bring them to you tomorrow. It was full of lovely goodies but I'll wait for the pictures to tell all.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Sunday Surfing

Ah Sunday afternoon. It's sunny, humid and the mighty midget and I are knocking around in the house by ourselves winding each other up again. Oh what it is to have the energy and enthusiasm of a five year old. We've been working hard in the garden today, well, I've been working hard, he's mostly been being "helpful". He's now got a newly erected swing and I get to have a break. Yay!

I did this the other Sunday and I thought it'd actually be quite fun to record my travels if I did it again. I start here at this blog and pick a blog from my blogroll. From that blog, I pick another and so on. The only rule being, I have to leave a comment on any that I pass through. I found a few nice one's to return to the last time around and I'm sure if I kept on long enough, I could get back to where I started but as my blog readership is still relatively small, that could take an awfully long time. Anyhow, here we go.

First up is Vikki aka Wild Fire Fibres with her impressive haul from Woolfest. I wish I lived closer/had some spare cash/babysitter etc and I'd have been there too. I'll just have to save up for Ally Pally and IKnit this year. From there to the Feral Knitter (loved the name, just had to peak) and she's fermenting lichens to dye with. I'm definately going to have to go back and see how that one works out. Crooked knitter leads onto Gnomiejo Knits who posted this great link to some clear converse shoes - perfect for showing off your handmade socks! I think I might have to check out if I can get a pair of them over here. More Yarn Than Time has found a treasure trove of a LYS, it's a shame Austin is so far away. Why aren't there more yarn stores like this in the UK?

Ooops, that's another hour wasted. I really should get some dinner cooked before the mighty midget starts raiding the biscuit tin again.

UK Swap, Question #3

I've been a bit slack about joining in with some of the extra's that have been part of the new round of the UK Swap and tbh, I just couldn't get my head round last weeks question which was about who I'd like to invite for dinner. I must have been having an antisocial couple of days. Anyhow this one leapt out at me as being a SAHM, tv does play a fairly big role in my social life. I know, sad/boring isn't it! So, this weeks poser is:

Is there a TV programme you watch religiously?
What TV programme(s) do you avoid like the plague?
Is there a TV programme that you find works particularly well for knitting along to?
What was/is your favourite kids TV programme?

I'm a bit of a sucker for medical dramas and cop shows and also most things sci fi. Unfortunately, Dr Who is on at just the wrong time of night (ie: the mighty midget's bedtime) and lets face it, some of those episodes have scared me. Imagine how they must look to a five year old! I do try and catch it on Iplayer if I can. So anyhow, the only thing I'm watching religiously at the moment is Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I know it's totally unbelievable, pure escapism but I just can't get enough.

I avoid Coronation St, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks. In fact most soaps and yes I do realise that you could argue Grey's Anatomy is a soap too. I don't care! Big Brother 9 anyone? The previous 8 weren't enough?

It doesn't matter what I'm watching, I'll knit anyway. Unless I get too engrossed that is. I got lent the first series of 24 last year and decided to watch it while I was ironing. Only then I suddenly realised that I'd put the iron down some while before and I was just leaning on the board glued to the screen.

Ah, kids tv, that's a biggie. I've watched an awful lot of cbeebies over the last few years and to tell the truth, I'm fairly sick of most of it. There are a few exceptions ...... I have this little sister Lola, she is small and very funny....
From my own childhood though, it's been a while but I remember watching The Magic Roundabout and Captain Pugwash, Chortle and the Wheelies, Stingray, Fireball XL5. Some real old classics but I don't particularly remember a specific favourite. I don't think we actually watched a great deal of tv, well not kids tv. I've watched Blake 7 and Star Trek and Dr Who from a very early age. Some things, I guess you never really grow out of ;D

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Anyone for yarn?

baskets of yarn, originally uploaded by Bearium.

I'm finally getting around to catching up with all my posting so here's a little something to get me started. Yarn and lots of it. Well, the remains of my stall at the Summer Fayre. As you can see, there's plenty left which in some ways is a shame. The fayre wasn't as busy as I'd liked it to have been, but as I did sell some, I can't complain too much.

I love dyeing the yarns and making the bags but the stress of doing the fayres is far too much (especially will a mighty midget underfoot). So what does this mean? Well, the Bear Necessities will be going global with a little corner of Etsy.

Fancy trying some of the yarns I use to felt my handbags with? Perhaps a bag itself? Well, watch this space :D

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Photo meme

My creation
Originally uploaded by Bearium
1. lucy's evil twin, 2. Party in the Ice Box, 3. Monk in green, 4. I want to be where the Sun warms the sky, 5. OUT17292479, 6. suck up! a.k.a. you suck! :), 7. Six on a motorbike.... Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 8. Profiteroles, 9. coMfort, 10. Ducks in the Mail: At the Post Office, 11. Reminder to Self: Slow Down on the Caffeine, 12. I got my goodies!

Here's a bit of fun that I've seen on a number of blogs but I lifted this from Kai's. I'm sat here with a glass of vino looking for inspiration and I thought, what the heck why not? Want to have a go too? All you have to do is

A) Type your answer to the questions below in flickr search; use only the first page to pick an image, and
B) Copy and past your picture URLs into fd’s mosaic maker.

The questions are:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favourite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favourite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favourite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Busy, busy, busy

well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Just a flying visit to say hi, I'm still here, bad blogger that I am. Well I've gone from going flat out to get things ready for the stall last weekend to getting everything finished for the mighty midget's birthday party tomorrow. As the saying goes, it never rains but it pours! I'll be glad come Saturday night when I can just sit down and take a breather. I think a glass or two of vino might be in order.

So, I'm off to collect the MM from school in a few minutes then it's back to get the cake and the costume finished before a final check through everything to make sure we've got all that we need. Who knew that children's parties could be so stressful?

Anyway, a proper catch up, with lots of pictures will follow by the end of the weekend (I hope, fingers crossed etc). To my swap partners, I haven't forgotten you. Sorry, I'm just late :s

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Calling all Colchester Knitters

I think I mentioned before that I'm doing a craft fayre in a couple of weeks well, it's fast approaching and I thought I'd invite you all along. See the poster below, that bit where it says, "handpainted yarn and knitted accessories"? that's me that is! I've sock yarn and some lovely merino 4ply to finish dyeing and plenty of feltable yarns too all in yummy colours. There'll be a handbags ready for a new home too, some shawls and maybe a few other goodies too. I'll be posting a few spoiler pictures over the next few days.

I'm hoping if there's room to be able to have a couple of chairs (or more) to be able to have a bit of a knit in so if you're local or in the area, I'd love for you to stop by and visit.

Frating Summer Fayre

Saturday 14th June

at Frating Village Hall



Farm foods and fresh fish

Plant & seed exchange

Local Historian

Salsa demonstration

Essex Wildlife Trust

Children’s garden with face painting and games

Health and beauty treatments

Shiatsu, Reflexology Sports Massage

Nail Technicians

Colour Analysis & make up

Craft Stalls

Cards, Silver jewellery

Ladies and children’s clothes and accessories

Hand painted yarn and knitted accessories

Natural home and beauty products

Come along and join in the fun from 3pm.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

UK Swap Questionnaire

So finally after much deliberation, here's my answers to the questions:

One: Crafting
Do you knit, crochet, or both?
both, I was taught them both in my early teens so theoretically, I have plenty of experience!?
What do you like to make?
mostly bags, socks, shawls but I also make toys, clothes etc as it takes my fancy or is needed by the mighty midget
Do you have a favourite project?
that I've made? probably my Noni bag although I loved the BSJ too
Do you have a favourite type of fibre or brand of yarn?
this one's a tough one, there's so many to choose from. I might have to come back to this one later.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
funky fur! I know it has it's place in the scheme of things but it's a bitch to knit with
Do you do any other crafts?
not so much these days but I've tried most things. I really enjoy sewing but have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my current sewing machine.
Do you knit in public? If so where do you like knitting and what is your "portable" project?
Yes, usually in cafe's as I live too far out of the town to use public transport very often or while I'm waiting to collect the MM from school. Depending on whether my otn project is getting too big to carry about, it's usually socks.
What do you carry your "portable" knitting in?
I've a little cotton drawstring bag that came with a pair of shoes, I throw in the top of my handbag.
Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
Is there a limit? A spinning wheel! VLT, another set of bamboo dpns to replace the ones I donated. Addi Lace needles. I could go on.....

Part Two: Your Favourites
What is your favourite colour?
Scarlet and atm, leafy greens
What is your least favourite colour?
orange or anything tan/beige/grey they make me look ill
What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
I love lavender and that really fresh smell after it's just rained. My perfume has been Hypnotic Poison for years. I hate any perfumes based around roses or violets and while I love to look at lilies, I can't have them in the house.
How do you like to pamper yourself? Pampering, what's that? um, glass of wine, manicure perhaps, ooh an undisturbed afternoon with a good book. (or any time to myself really.)
What goodies to you like to eat?
dark chocolate, the darker the better
Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind?
I drink both. I really dislike Earl Grey tea though and am currently drinking a fair trade decaf arabica coffee, otherwise I'd probably od on caffeine.
Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit?
I usually knit in front of the tv - mostly crime and medical dramas, NCIS, Inspector Linley, Waking the Dead, Midsummer Murders, House, Greys Anatomy although I've really been getting into Springwatch again. I don't actually have an ipod so I've never really got into podcasts, although there are some great knitting ones I keep meaning to listen to.

Part Three: About you, Living & Past-times
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?
Don't know, nothing too fluffy
Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)
Essex/Suffolk border
Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
we've been here about 10 years, I lived in mid Essex before that
What is your favourite place in the UK?
probably Northumbria or the Peak District, it's the hills that does it
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
SE Asia as I had to cut it off the end of my backpacking trip although I'd love to go back to Australia too
What other hobbies do you have?
gardening, reading, puzzles

Part Four: The Theme
This picture may seem a bit of a strange choice but there's something about it that I find strangely attractive. I'm not sure whether it's the uniformity of the pots, the way the colours have begun to change as they've mellowed with age or whether it's just the sheer extravagance of having so many clay pots. I nearly used the picture dad took of me just stood there gawping at them all - I can only dream of being this organised in my potting shed!

Final Part:
Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?

not that I can think of just now

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Pimp that swap!

Yes I did it, I gave in and signed up to the next round of the UK Swap. It's not as though I don't have other things to be getting along with but hey, I'll take all the distractions I can get. Seriously though, this'll be something to look forward to later in the year and who can resist stalking the postman for a squishy parcel? I have to blame Vikki for this as, if I didn't stop by her blog every now and again, I'd have been none the wiser.


Sign ups are open now to anyone living in the UK but will close tomorrow, 2nd June. It's your last chance, go forth and swap!