Friday, 23 May 2008

Holidays

Yes it really is that time of year again, it's half term already. Now that the mighty midget is in school we are discouraged from taking holidays turning term term so we have to pay extra and go during the designated break. I can understand the school's point of view but it does get annoying when you're stung up by the holiday companies! So anyhow, we're heading off tomorrow on what has now become our annual pilgrimage to Northumbria. It's a beautiful part of england (so long as the nice weather holds out) and we've already been planning various things to do this year and of course, we get to spend time with Granny which is great. The cottage is booked, the washing is all done, there's just the small matter of packing once I've finished cleaning the house. sigh

So back to the rest of this weeks' news. Thanks for all the well wishes, the sickness bug is well and truly over and luckily (for everyone else) I was the only one who got it. I've also been on my secret knitting assignment this week. Getting paid for sitting on my bum knitting, who'd have thought it? It definately had one or two surreal moments but it's done now and you'll all know more about it over the next few weeks.

Now that's out of the way though, it's back to the serious business of preparing for the fayre. The holiday has really come at just the wrong moment in some ways but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in lots of knitting time. I think my knitting bag for the week is going to be on the large side as I'm going to have to get a few bags knitted a prepped for felting on our return. Mum's offered to knit up a couple of patterns for me too (isn't she a star!) so hopefully I'll have a couple of shawls to add to the display too. One good thing about the stall is that I can use it to test knit a couple of patterns I've been working on.

I'll leave you with a picture of one of my current projects - a horseshoe lace stole.I can't fully take the credit for this pattern though as I got the idea from Jacqui and the lace pattern came from Heirloom Knitting. I knew that book was great but it wasn't until I started trying to write a shawl pattern myself that I realised what a wonderful resource it is. If you don't own it already, it's definately a keeper!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Bags and I ramble a bit again

So, did you spot the not so deliberate mistake in the last post? It all got a bit confusing in the end, the post is dated Wednesday, I carried on writing it on Thursday and actually published it Friday. Oops. If I hadn't been feeling so rough I'd have sorted it out, I really must find out where it is I change the date on the post. I remember reading you can post date them somewhere, might be handy as it's almost time for the holidays. So just why was I all over the place? Well that would be the lurgy that the mighty midget brought home from school and generously gave me. He's disgusting healthy as per usual but I succumbed. I now have fabulously tight stomach muscles (and not from exercising I might add) and my appetite is gradually recovering. Anyhow, back to the interesting stuff.
I seem to remember promising an update on the blogoversary bag so without further ado, I present my most recent offering, the blogoversary bag. I still haven't thought of a better name yet but am I pleased with it? oh yes :) Here it is decorating our apple tree just before posting. It ended up as a rather useful sized tote, actually it'd make a great knitting bag. It's fully lined with a couple of good sized pockets inside and a draw string closure on the top. Perfect for keeping all your needles and yarns in place when you're out and about (hehe, have I sold it to you yet?). I deliberately chose a nice bright, contrasting colour for the lining and it works really nicely with the colours in the yarn. I think I'm going to go back and pick up some more of the lining material as I absolutely love the colour.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

sunny skies and lack of knitting

It's Thursday again already, has it really been a week since my last post? Time really does fly especially when you're having a mini heatwave which is really not all that conducive to getting any knitting done. So did you like that bag pattern then? Some people do apparently as almost 100 people downloaded it in the first 2 days after it went live. Holy cow, I should have charged!

I think I should have started this pattern writing lark a long time ago - I'm beginning to wonder whether it might actually pay for itself. Hmm, where did I put my notepad? Joking aside, I do have a few more patterns in the works so watch this space.

So what has been happening in sunny Frating this week? I mentioned before that the knitting has taken a bit of a back seat. Not for lack of trying mind you, more motivation. I agreed to do a stall a the village summer fayre next month (yes I really am a glutton a punishment) and whilst I do have a few things ready to roll, I need to get cracking and get a lot more done. That's where the problem lies though. I have far too many ideas swimming around but am having trouble just thinking about one at a time. Bah. It'll all work out in the end and the fun bit is that I get to have another dye fest as I'll be taking a couple of baskets of yarn along too. Goodie :D

One good thing this week was the delivery of the blogoversary bag which is now living in it's new home with a very happy Cinders. After a few last minute doubts, I was really pleased with how it turned out. Actually, I want one myself now as it's the perfect size as a project bag to take out and about. It also gives me a good excuse to reknit it again to check the pattern.

The weekend saw us paying a visit to my grand parents and with such sunny skies, it gave us a good reason to head over to Weald Park for a walk. Everywhere's so green and lush at the moment and the spring blossom is still glorious. The blue bells are actually getting a bit past their best but the chestnut walk is just coming into it's own and it'll not be long before the azaleas and rhododendrom's are in bloom too as they're just beginning to show colour. One of the nice things about Weald is the history and many of the trees are really ancient. Spot the mighty midget (and Nanny) under one of the overgrown rhododendrons. My family have quite close links to the park as my grandfather grew up there, mum played there as a child and we've all been visiting it as long as I can remember. It's great to be able to watch the seasons change there are know that it'll all still be there long after we're gone.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Little Felted Tote Pattern

I've been threatening to publish some patterns for a while and here is number two and it's for my basic felted bags. It's rather unoriginally called my "Little Felted Tote" and you can get it here as a pdf for free. I'm still new to this pattern writing lark so if you make one, I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks and happy knitting :)

Baby babette


babette 002
Originally uploaded by Bearium
I finally found a reason (excuse?) to cast on this pattern. It is of course, the Babette Blanket or rather my vintage version of it, courtesy of Good Housekeeping. I drove over to Clacton yesterday for a change and of course while I was there I had to look in the local yarn shop. The Woolcabin have moved and this was my first visit to their new premises. It's bigger and brighter inside and there's plenty of selection as usual. Their website doesn't actually do them justice as it doesn't have all the stock listed and they're so friendly and helpful. If you're in the area, it's definately worth a visit.

Anyhow whilst I was browsing I came across the Stylecraft Kon-Tiki. It's a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend and is lovely and soft and the colours just screamed baby blanket to me. Add to that that it's both machine washable and tumble dryer friendly, what more could you ask? I came home found a hook straight away and it's growing nicely.

Before anyone comments, no the blanket is not for me.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Spring has sprung ..... at last

Fatal last words? I surely hope not, the weather has finally turned for the better. Blue skies all round and the garden is beginning to look glorious. The first flush of spring flowers are over and the apple is in full bloom. Here's hoping for a good fruit year to come. Anyhow, I really do sound like a little ray of sunshine this morning, it's amazing what a few sunny days will do. So other than me gushing about the sunshine, what else is happening in sunny Frating?

We have yarn, and no this time it wasn't me doing the buying. I've actually scored some knitting related worked work and this little bag of goodies pitched up on my door step on Saturday morning. There's far more than I need for the actual job but I'm sure I can put the rest of it to good use and it certainly full fills my need to squish yarn occasionally. I'm really impressed with the Stylecraft Life yarn that was included. For a budget yarn, it's incredibly soft. I've used Stylecraft 100% acrylic before and it's pretty good but the addition of the wool has certainly made a big difference. I can see me buying some more of this for myself.

Back on the knitting front, progress on the socks has ground to a halt for a few days. Being a fair weather gardener really means that as soon as it's warm and dry enough, I'm outside especially as I've some serious catching up to do with the planting this year. Not only that, I got side tracked with the entrelac. I've decided it's my new favourite type of knitting (until the next thing catches my eye). The practice square got finished in no time at all along with a couple of mini squares to add to the Colchester SnB mystery leaving present. I don't think the recipient actually reads this but I hadn't better give too much away just yet. Thanks everyone for the comments about what to do with the entrelac, I agree it'll make fantastic cushions. I keep thinking what an eye catching bag it'll make too so I might have to give that a bit of thought too.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Not that I am trying to infer that I am particularly aged but hey, I have a new trick or perhaps I should say technique. I can do entrelac! Pleased? Moi? Of course! Now I just have to find something I can use it for.