Friday, 27 March 2009

Date for your diary: 25th April

We're having our first weekend meet up and are opening our doors to anyone in the area, be it knitters, crocheters, spinners, felters - anything yarn related really. If you fancy a day out, it'd be lovely to meet you.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Meet Molly, currently the most spiteful cat on the planet. She might look beautiful but don't let that fool you. Underneath the calm interior lurks one of the meanest cats around. Oh she might be nice and come and cuddle up to you at night but let her into your room and she might just leave you a little something on the carpet. The weather is beautiful, the litter tray is clean but no my bedroom is currently her spot of choice for doing her business. All I can smell is cat wee. It stinks, it's pervasive and this is now the second week in a row that I've had my carpet up and shampooed. I even caught her in action the other morning so I know that it's her. As much as I love her - I am never having another cat!
So anyway to cheer myself up the last couple of days, I have wandering around my garden enjoying the sunshine. Let's face it, this is England so you have to make the most of it while you can. Still, if it carries on like it's started, we could have a beautiful year to come. I'd best start crossing all my fingers now. Actually, it's a bit cloudy and much chillier today which is why I'm in the study composing this instead of digging in the garden. Mind you, having shifted almost a tonne of soil between us at the weekend and also mended the greenhouse I don't feel so guilty about doing so. There's always so much to do in our garden as I'm not the only fair weather gardener in the house. It's an old place too with a pretty mature garden and having mature trees means it's never just a straightforward job to trim them back. This year it's going to involve ladders and chain saws at some point and that's well beyond my remit. I'll stick to the flower webs and the veggie patch. We did a soil test in the veggie patch at the weekend and wow, did we get a surprise. We have the most beautiful, light, free draining soil. Like a lot of Essex, we're on sand and over the years we have piled barrow load upon barrow load of compost into it. By rights we should be able to grow the most fantastic carrots but they never get to more than 2 inches long regardless of the variety. Anyhow, the test showed that the garden is alkaline and not just a little. I'm not sure we'll be able to pour enough manure in it to be able to fix it. Well, certainly not this year anyway.So anyway, here's my pick of the spring flowers so far. Helebores poking out from under their leaves at the bottom of the garden. This is the first year they've done as well - they don't like our regular summer droughts.
Pulmonaria or Lung Wort or as my gran always called it, Jacob's coat. It flowers really early in the spring and then all summer you get huge green spotty leaves.
The first of the violas.
Frogs, lots of them but so far, no spawn. I found young newts at the weekend too while I was moving some of the stones about. They were obviously still hibernating so I covered them back up. Finally the winter clematis - about the only thing in the garden that's a bit late flowering this year. Mind you, that could just down to it being in the shadiest part of the garden. Ah spring is definately springing, before we know it it'll be Easter.

Monday, 16 March 2009

I've just had the best day ever and I'm now sat here with the cheesiest smile on my face. It started out with a trip out to a new weekly knitting group (Monday mornings at Fillpots Nurseries in Boxted if you're in the Colchester area). I met some lovely new ladies, caught up with a couple of people that I hadn't seen for a long time and had tea and cake. Pimped out my shop a little and with the help of the others converted another knitter to start on her first pair of socks. I gave her some spare needles and a pattern and sold her some sock yarn - hehe, aren't I shameless!?

It's been gloriously sunny all weekend and I'm still on a high for working or should I say, skivvying in the garden. Then tonight when I picked up my emails, I had one to say my advert has been approved. I am officially a ravelry advertiser and of course, when I logged on, I saw my first advert. Ah, maybe I'm just easily pleased but hey, my little shop is being advertised on Ravelry. Yay!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

FO - Hedera

Originally uploaded by Bearium

Hedera socks from Knitty. Knitted on my 2.5mm BB dpn's before I snapped one and using some of the Merino superwash from my shop. It's a lovely yarn to knit with and I'm really pleased with the way it's knitted up. I only got to play with it as it was a slight miss-dye but I might have to sneak another skein out.

Another lovely Cookie A pattern and a very easy knit once you discover the errata for the numbers on the heel. I'm still not sure I like the huge instep but I've been assured by Paige who altered it for one of her pairs that it's necessary.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

What's your word?

I came across this on Kai's blog this weekend, she lives with hope which I think is beautiful so I thought I'd have a try myself. Apparently I'm fearless.

Your Word is "Fearless"

You see life as your one chance to experience everything, and you just go for it!

You believe the biggest risk is being afraid and missing out on something amazing.

Sometimes your fearlessness means you're daring. You enjoy risky activities.

And sometimes your fearlessness means you're courageous. You're brave enough to do the right thing, even when it's scary.

What's Your Word?

I'm not entirely sure why I was quite so surprised especially when I stopped to think about it. I've been to university, I've travelled the world largely by myself and I'm raising a child as a single parent. Hmm, perhaps I'm more fearless than I realised. How about you?

Thursday, 5 March 2009

FO - Clogs

These have been on the needles for a while but finally, I cleared another project from the UFO pile. A pair of felted clogs (Rav link) from Fiber Trends. This is the largest size of the children's pattern and has felted down to about a ladies UK 4 or 5. They fit mum really well so hopefully she actually likes them and wasn't just being nice!
Needles: 9mm Denise interchangeables and dpns
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool Fusion - overdyed to suit mum
Size: ladies UK 4/5

This is my second pair of these and at the mo, I'm trying to work out whether I can rejig the pattern to make them large enough for me or whether to just bite the bullet and buy the adult version. I'm sure I'll make another pair before long as the MM tried these on as soon as they were dry.

Love to swap

I swore I wasn't going to take part in any more swaps for a while but they're just such fun, I couldn't resist one more. So a little while ago I joined the UK Spinners Swap 3. There were pretty strict limits on the swap. In total, we were only to send 200g of fibre and a small non fibre gift. 50g of fibre was to be spun by me and the remaining 50g was to be sent to my partner along with piece I'd already spun, the other 100g fibre and the gift. We were all matched up into pairs - I was with Gina (aka Norfolkknitter on Rav).
We both had a bit of a chat, did a bit of stalking and then got spinning. For Gina, I chose some Falkland which I dyed into various shades of green and then span my half. I know I'm still a relatively new spinner but I was pretty pleased with the way it came out - it still amazes me every time you spin something how the colours change from the fibre to the finished yarn. I realised I forgot to take pictures of the rest of her goodies but I found some very pretty BFL fibre called "Out in the Sticks" from Wonderfulwool on Folksy. It seemed really appropriate seeing as we both do live out in the sticks. Then I made a set of beaded stitch markers and an orifice hook for her soon to arrive spinning wheel and then some sweeties which I suspect she had to share with her little girl. I really enjoyed putting it all together but it is definately so much easier when the limits of the swap are so specific.

So, what did I get in return? Some lovely Shetland from The YarnYard. It's really soft and in the most beautiful heathery tones.
Some very cute chicken buttons. I think I'm going to have to make something just so I can use them. They're great.
yarn 092
and finally, here's what Gina chose as my 50/50. It's Halo superwash from the Natural Dye Studio. I've bought various yarns from the NDS and they've all been great - Amanda does fab colours. Gina's spun this up really nicely to about a DK weight and then Navajo plied it to keep distinct colour bands. I've never n-plied before so there's a challenge for me - I just hope I manage to match it or a close to it as I can.
yarn 240
There was a bar of Green and Blacks chocolate tucked in the parcel too which of course didn't last too long although I have tried to ration it a little. All in all, a great swap. I've really enjoyed this one, thanks again Gina.