Monday, May 29, 2006

A Finished Blanket

The sun even came out so I could take a picture. It looks a bit weird hanging on the line, but I had no idea where else to take the photo! I am please with the finished result. I hope Cath will like it, she did request something bright!
For my next blanket, I would like to stick with squares done in the round, as it would be much easier to crochet them together and I think that would frame the squares better. I just couldn't get the hang of crocheting these together and ended up sewing them. Luckily my sewing has improved dramatically over the last year!
Here are the stats...
Start Date: Easter 2006
Finish Date: 29th May 2006
Most of the blocks are taken from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. The edging I made up myself, one round of dc in green, one round of bobbles in red and one round of shells in yellow.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Teal - 203 (Main colour) and yellow - 506, green 002 and red - 007.
Here is a close up of the edging.Now I think I really need to wash it before posting it. The idea of washing something I have spent so many hours making fills me with dread. However, it is for a baby, and these squares have been dragged around in my bag and laid out on the floor so the definately need a wash! Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Blocking Blanket

Here it is, all squares done. All ends sewn in. Blocked using steam from the iron... not sure how successful this blocking will be, but hopefully enough for me to start joining today. I think I will then wash it and block it again once the edging is done before I send it on.
On the sock front, I realised I don't have any 2mm needles. I went to JL in Kingston yesterday but they didn't either. We'll see how far I get with the blanket this weekend and whether I start the socks in 2.25mm circulars (which I have) or if I wait and buy some 2mm.
Tony Tiger also said I was greedy making myself another pair of socks and that he wanted some. So now it looks like I have two pairs to knit whilst on holiday. I have sent him lots of links to finished LL socks in various different colours to see what he likes best. I have some Icehouse already, but I think it might be a bit bright for him!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nature's Palette

Look what the postie woke me up with this morning...The red one is "Indian Paintbrush" and the purple is "Odd Duck 3". The red is such a bright colour, I think it will be perfect for my OneSkeinPal. I figure sending two hanks is not cheating if one makes one sock! Who cares if I bend the rules a little? They came from PureKnits. Ordered on Tuesday, arrived on Sat. What fabulous service.
Odd Duck 3 reminds me of the pictures I took of the clematis the other day. It is destined to be a pair of socks using Bry's new sock pattern! I can't wait to get started. I MUST finish the blanket first however. Only 1/2 a square to crochet (I got too tired to finish it last night) and a whole weekend of doing nothing but crafty things (and maybe some trellis painting if he sun decides to make an appearance). Hmmm socks. I never thought I would become this addicted to knitting socks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Which one is your favourite? My clematis produces double and single flowers. I wonder how it chooses....
Which one is your favourite? My clematis produces double and single flowers. I think I like the singles best.
On the blanket front. 20 squares down. 5 to go. What do you think? How should I join it? Sewing or crochet? Should I join in blue or another one of the colours? Then there is the edging... and that is a whole other decision. Agh! Feeling recovered enough to go back to work tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the long weekend and hopefully finishing the blanket.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Miffy Knitting...

Made me smile.

A challenge

Well, I did feel like the card was kind-of a mini challenge. I couldn't find the ballerina pattern. I know it is in a Jean Greenhowe book I had at uni, with a footballer in and a fireman, but I can't find it anywhere (but about 6 house moves later that is not surprising really). There were a few of ebay but I couldn't wait; so I modified another Jean Greenhowe pattern. Something I never would have ever considered when I used to make these dolls but I have now realised how easy it is! She is very cute, and had a touch of luxury as a couple of her flowers and the edge of her tutu are made from HipKnits silk. Yum. I'm going to pack her up and send her to my friend Cath, who sent me the card. Now all we have to hope is that her baby (due any day) is a girl! Otherwise it will just have to be some Billy Elliott style inspiration!
Another challenge was the Manchester 10K which everyone completed in record time at the weekend. Well done Kim, Bodge and TT. Tony has raised nearly £300 for the Aplastic Anaemia Trust. If you feel like making it a bit more you can still sponsor him here.
Other exciting knitting news is the present I got from TT. Will have to wait a couple of weeks for pictures as it is still having the finishing touches put to it. He made me a wooden needle holder which holds a brand new set of wooden Gracie needles. It is beautiful. You will all be jealous when I get some pictures.
Oh yes, there is even more exiting knitting news. I am going to knit a pair of Bryony's socks that she has designed. It took very little persuading and even fewer clicks for me to purchase some of the Nature's Palette yarn she recommends. It was even shipped today! So hopefully it will be here by the weekend. This cheered me up as I have been feeling particularly rubbish today (achy, sore throat, headachy etc you get the idea) and decided to stay in bed/my flat today rather than braving work. I am cross because I have missed two gigs I've had tickets for the last two days because I haven't felt up to going. And one of them was a birthday present. So I needed so internet-retail therapy.
I am planning to knit these socks on my next holiday, in 11 days time. I'm off to Amsterdam with TT for a week. We have blown the budget and are staying on a houseboat that has a jacuzzi! We always do super budget holidays, so this time I decided we deserved a little bit of luxury. Anyone know any good yarn shops in Amsterdam?

Friday, May 19, 2006


Who got a crocheted tomato for their birthday?

And a personalised card about socks and wool

And some fab books (ooh the tomato seems to have snuck in too)

I have brilliant friends and I love them all very much. Especially those who make me tomatoes and cards about socks. Thanks also to my secret pal for my only e-card of the day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Don't let anyone tell you Peter Crouch is training with the England team in Portugal. He was definately standing in front of me in a red tee-shirt at the Hard-Fi gig in Brixton this evening! Oh to be 1 foot taller than I am. Hard-Fi were ace. I got to jump around and pretend I am still really 19 not (eeek) 29. James and I tried to find somewhere to go out after the gig but Brixton seemed to be full of very weird people with blood dripping down their face (well actually just one person with blood but lots of odd people). Instead we did the sensible thing and caught the bus back to mine and had a cup of tea :0) Then it was past midnight so I got to open my cards. Not something I would be allowed to do if Tony was here, but he is not and I will appreciate them much more when I am awake tonight than tomorrow morning when I won't want to get out of bed.
Here they are so far...Cath sent me a knitted ballerina card and said she wished it came with a pattern.... little does she know I do actually have a pattern for this exact doll. Do you reckon I can make it and send it to her by her birthday on Monday? Would be funny if I could! I'm sure she wouldn't mind me pausing on the blanket for a day or two. Talking of which, I have a plan I am happy with. 15 squares and (another) layout. Sorry it is a bit boring seeing the same squares rearranged each day... Here is the latest attempt, The one in the centre is new. Another bobble/stripes on is going above the centre and I have one more corner to do. The others are going to be filled in with squares that match up with the corners.. which I am making up as there is not pattern for them in the book, but it is not exactly difficult as it is just trebles. I might re-do the square on the right-middle also as it seems much bigger than the rest. Off to find a ballerina pattern, and then to bed.
Hope everyone has a lovely 18th of May. Happy birthday to Jack Johnson
but not to Danny Mills because even though you were born on exactly the same day as me I don't think you a very nice player.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Half Way

13 down, 12 to go. Can't decide if I like layout 1 or 2 best but at least I feel like I have a plan that is coming together.
I'm going to carry on with the stripey outer squares next. They are fairly easy to manage on the bus/train/tube. My mathematical brain tells me that it needs to be symmetrical. So that's 2 more stripes and 3 more with bobbles. 2 more corners to do as well. Then I'll be on to the decisions about the others.
Not sure how much time I'll have to be doing them this week. It is swimming night tomorrow, then I'm off to see Hard-Fi at Brixton on Wed and Thursday is my birthday so I'm off out for tapas with some friends. I am also going to try and think up a list of things I must do before I am thirty; only 368 days to go!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Blanket Progress

I now have 9 squares. From the top they are (all from 200 Crochet Blocks) by Jan Eaton
1. Twin Stripes (in one colour)
2. Fretwork
3. Twin Stripes (in one colour)
4. Briar Rose
5. Twin Stripes (in one colour)
6. Double Stripes
7.Twin Stripes (Multi)
8. Candy Stripe Bobbles
9. Twin Stripes (Multi)

Not really sure where this is going at the moment. I think I might frog number 6 (as it is a little big anyway). Make some corner blocks and continue the stripes around the edge.
However I enjoy making lots of different squares. It is a hard decision!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fashion Crisis in London Town

Yes, it really is an all-in-one chinz jumpsuit. Spotted this evening just behind Oxford Street. Obviously, really I was taking this photo:
This is Kerry with the secret knitting.... some Jaywalkers in Lorna's Laces sock yarn for her Birthday. I think these are one of the most favourite things I have made and it was simply the best yarn I have knit with. Ever. It did pool a little, but I kind of liked it.
Obviously the Jaywalkers wouldn't be complete without a matching iPod case. Can you see the apple button? when I found this in my button box I knew it was meant to be.
It is secret pal time too. I have just got my matches for Secret Pal 8 and One Skein Pal. Off to send a few emails (when really I should be in bed).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like to knit with mostly natural fibres; especially wool and cotton. I'll give anything a go.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
In a vase or in the magazine holder I use as a project-in-progress holder by the sofa

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I reckon since I was about 12 or 13 on and off... I used to take it up, get bored with it, take it up again. I knit a few things for colleagues/friends who had babies over the last 5 or so years, and I'd say I've been improving my skills over the last 2.5 years.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Here it is
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavender probably but I'm not one for heavily scented things. My favourite perfume is Flower by Kenzo if that gives you an idea.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes, but I cut out chocolate for Lent and I am now trying to be good and limit myself to only one thing a week and so far it's working. At this present moment I am craving a Crunchie!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I crochet a little and really enjoying learning but I am very much a beginner. I also love gardening, even though if you looked at my garden you wouldn't think so. I don't spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm a 1990's indie girl. Stuck in the days of Blur, Ash, Pulp, Oasis etc. However the new Arctic Monkeys hasn't left my CD player in quite a while!

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
That would be purple. In fact anything stripey usually makes me happy.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live alone but have a bf who I visit/visits me most weekends. We've been together nearly 4 years.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, Yes, Yes and haven't for ages.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I have managed to get addicted to socks this year. However I enjoy any projects which are fairly quick as I like to see results fast. Scarfs, hats, bags, baby clothes etc etc

13. What are you knitting right now?
A secret gift for a friend who has a birthday next week and I am crocheting squares for a baby blanket for another friend who is due at the end of May.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes, I love them.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I've done quite a bit of stuff on circulars recently, I adore wooden needles but find it hard to justify buying them when I have a big bag of metal hand me downs and a vase full of funky coloured plastic needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a yarn winder and I don't know what I would do without it. No swift. (Yet)

17. How did you learn to knit?
My mum taught me; and my friend Kerry taught me how to crochet.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Um, not that old, probably the hexagons for my blanket, that I make when there are no socks to knit. Probably 3-4 months=ish

19. What is your favorite holiday?
I take it this means christmas, easter etc etc.. so probably Christmas.
My ideal holiday (vacation) is going somewhere to chill out (cottage etc) with little towns to explore and places to see.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I really want "Big Girl Knits" I have heard lots of good things about it. And I NEED some 2.25mm bamboo dpns but I can't find them anywhere and I have just discovered how much I adore Lorna's Laces sock yarn. I have a sub to Simply Knitting.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Entrelac. I want to make a bag. When the presents are out of the way this is the next thing.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
3 pairs this year so far... UK size 6/7. About 23cm long from tip of toe to back of heel and 23cm around the ball of my foot...

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
18th May. Not long to go now until my 30th year.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Horay it is May!

Today has been glorious. Luckily, I was on the early shift so despite being having to get up very early I got to leave work at 3pm which I was very happy about.
I love this time of year, when it is warm and the sneezing hasn't started yet (only about 2 weeks to go before going outside is a no no.)
Today at lunch I went and sat in the beautiful gardens of old bombed church near my work. It is called St Dunstan-in-the-East. I must take my camera and take some more pictures. It is a place of amazing tranquility as long as you don't go there between 12noon and 2pm when it is just full of office workers. I took the secret knitting project with me and sat knitting instead of eating my lunch but noone took any notice!
I came home and took some photos of my Dicentra Spectabilis. Isn't it amazing?This is very beautiful too but I have no idea what it is. I'm sure it came from a bulb I got free from Gardeners World!I also took advantage of the loveliness of the day and sat outside and knitted when I got home. What a fab way to spend the afternoon. I have been feeling pretty miserable over the past week with no real explanation for it so I am very glad of the sun today and I feel a million times better.
Jess and Kerry came over to mine for a craft evening last night. Look what Jess bought with her? The biggest stash ever? It came from an elderly relative who has gone into home. Most of it is tapestry wool, but I couldn't resist taking a few little things...And finally, here are the three squares of the baby blanket I am making. Only 33 left to go and 27 days to do them in. First babies are always late aren't they? The one on the right is my favourie so far.