Monday, December 31, 2007

Start as you mean to go on...

Last year I knit or crocheted: 1 pair of mittens, 1 skirt, 1 lace stole, 1 hat, 1 pair of booties, 1 tie, 1 tank top, 1 bag, 1 blanket, 2 pairs of handwarmers, 3 toys, 3 scarves, 5 items of children's clothing and 13 pairs of socks.

Out of these 35 items only 8 were for me....

On the needles at the moment are 4 pairs of socks (only 1 for me),
gentleman's evening 001 Kilt Hose 002 retro 001 pomatamus
1 blanketP1020115,
1 present for my mom,flower wrap 001
1 jumper for Carys.Hugs and Kisses 002

So I have decided that 2008 will be a year of more knitting for me, and less gift knitting.
I also want it to be a year of making bigger garments and more lace knitting
Here is the vague plan...
For me:
A tank top - based on Ms Marigold for me using Rowan Calmer.
A aran type jumper/cardigan jacket using the aran wool I bought in Ireland nearly 2 years ago
Start on Fyne tank top that I have swatched for:
Fyne Swatch 002
Another lace project.
For Others: Finish the WIPs above and start a baby blanket for the new arrival due in about a week, a baby brother or sister for Toby.
I wonder if I will manage to stick to these?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Year In Review

Wow, another year nearly over and my second Blogiversary on the horizon. I have some good crafting resolutions to share with you in the new year, most of them revolve around making things for me!
The last 18 months has been full of 30th Birthday celebrations for me and my friends and I have made something for just about all of them.
TOP ROW: Some that took a very long time - like James' tie and some which were far more enjoyable and successful; Lauren's Ms Marigold and Kerry's obscenely short crocheted skirt. I even managed to make a birthday shawl for me. My birthday was also an enabler, I now have a sewing machine and I can make bags! Horay.
SECOND ROW: I have had some amazing swaps this year, my Sockapalooza socks from Roobeedoo are just fantastic, in fact I am wearing them now. Secret pals, Hogwarts Sock Kit Swaps and Sockret pal have all bought some fabulous parcels and new friends like Wendy and Adele.
THIRD ROW: I've also had a fairly productive year on the knitting front. My favourites are my stripy Jaywalkers - which fit perfectly and I love. My Mystery Shawl, a real challenge to knit, but I adore the results. It makes me want to knit more lace. Owen's baby blanket, my favourite of the three blankets I've made so far. He loves it too and uses it all the time, which makes it even more special and surprisingly the booties I made for a friend far away and her new little girl, these were so easy but look great.

FOURTH ROW: Tony and I had an amazing trip to Canada: Toronto and Niagara.... such a wonderful 30th birthday present from my man. Thank you! I've designed a couple of things this year... well maybe design is not exactly right, I've managed to make a pair of Sockapalooza socks from my own pattern, as well as cricket jumpers for my two favourite little men. The garden has reaped a few rewards too .... all that is left to show for it now is one fairly spongy carrot and about 10 jars of green tomato chutney (Wendy - I promised to send you one ages ago, I will put it in the post in the new year! If any one else fancies some, let me know!) And yes, you guessed it, I still haven't done anything with my practice patchwork!
FIFTH ROW: Presents! Sidney - Toby's Christmas present. A wonderful pattern from ysolda. Hattie's Birthday jacket - which was started last Christmas! Matching Christmas socks for Non and Carys. Magic cashmere mittens for Lolly. Finally, the Kureyon Hexagon blanket- will it ever be finished?
Happy New Year Everyone. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2008!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2008.
bruce 002
The presents are wrapped. All the prep work I can do for lunch tomorrow has been done.
I'm off to do a few more rows on my Mom's present - sadly not finished in time to unwrap tomorrow :0( There has been a distinct lack on knitting in these parts recently... largely due to the large amount of parties there have been to attend!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Meet Sidney...

Here is Sidney. He is a friendly green elephant
Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda, knitted in the round with no seaming.
Needles: 2.75mm Brittany Birch (until one broke, so one arm and the ears and done with 3mm needles)
Started: 17th November
Finished: 29th November
Yarn: James C Brett Kool Kotton. 50% cotton, 50% Acrylic.
He is a super elephant. Fun to knit, excellent construction. The yarn is soft, but will also stand up to being put through the machine, which I think makes sense for toys.... it is also only about £1.50 a ball and he used up about 2m less than a ball.. Bargain. I think he will have many adventures and I am very tempted to make more for Christmas presents.
Sidney likes to pose for the camera with his other elephant friends
Sidney and Friends
He poses on his own too.. and sits there very still whilst you snap away.
He is nosey too... as you would expect from an elephant. He dived right in when I received my final Secret Pall 11 parcel earlier this week. Look at all of those wonderful things from Bette - the Knittin' Diva.

sp11 001
Wrapped it fab Christmas tissue paper we have, Artful yarns Shakespeare 100% wool in perfect colours for me, a pedicure set, snowman tissues, a tree ornament, some lovely fabric fat quarters, reindeer post-its, bath salts, a roses calendar and some gorgeous wool that Bette dyed. Thank you so much for your wonderful, thoughtful presents. You have been a great pal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A strange week...

It has been a strange week. It snowed on Sunday. Luckily it wasn't this heavy when I was driving back from Sunday lunch or I would have been quite scared! (As I am quite rubbish when it comes to driving)My poor little car getting all cold....
snow18nov07 004
Then I realised it has taken me nearly a month to knit one Christmas sock for Tony. What is going on? And more importantly how I am I going to finish the other one and a pair of knee highs by Christmas?
retro 001
Then I managed to pick up too few stitches whilst watching the TV on Sunday evening... spot the deliberate mistake?
nellie 002
Don't worry, Nellie will have two legs the same by the time she is finished, I thought Ysolda might want to see my wonky attempt at her Elijah pattern (which is fabulous BTW - all of those Jean Greenhowe dolls I knitted flat, why??)
However I have snapped one of my Brittany Birch needles that Adele sent me whilst knitting Nellie :0( So now I am having to knit with one 2.5mm and 4 2.75mm needles and DK yarn, which is kind of hard going!
Finally, here is one Christmas present that is finished. Kai by Louisa Harding in Rowan All Seasons Cotton for a little man I know.
kai 001

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And now for something simple....

After all of the MS3 knitting I decided I needed to knit something simple.
Just in time for the cold weather, a trip to the Lake District and the Christmas Market in Birmingham - a garter stitch scarf in Rowan Big Wool.
lakes nov07 010

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Swan Lake

Yes, it is true, after 3 months my MS3 is finally finished, blocked and ready to wear.
I am ridiculously proud of this project, mistakes and all.
I really feel like I have learnt a lot since August, and I am no longer scared of lace!
ms3 complete 010
The Malabrigo lace was just devine, it is so soft and I know it is going to be really warm.
ms3 complete 004
I'm not sure you can see, but there are little tiny brown seed beads all over the stole and they give a little weight to the ends.
ms3 complete 003
There are loads of mistakes, but I don't really care. It still looks beautiful. I really can't believe I made it!
ms3 complete 002
Pattern: Swan lake - Mystery Stole 3 - by Pink Lemon Twist
Started: 2nd August 2007
Finished: 1st November 2007
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace Weight

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mad Baz

Here is my new Pumpkin, looking a little warty... baz 003
And now a little bit scary
baz 005
But not quite as scary as Warren from last year....
Do you like my Socks that Rock?
str 001
This parcel arrived on Saturday- aren't they yummy? Unfortunately only half were for me.
L-R Thistle, Gramdma's Flower Garden, Fire on the Mountain, Watermelon Tourmaline, January One and Sherbert.
I have Fire on the Mountain and Watermelon to make the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I am blatantly copying the colour combo from Ravelry but I love it, see?
In more multi-cloloured madness here are the first finished Christmas presents.
fruit salad 005
Yarn Yard Fruit Salad colourway. Lovely.
MS 3 is also finished, but not blocked, so I'm saving that for another post. Off to suss out more Christmas knits.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My second parcel from my secret pal arrived today all the way from America.
Look at all the great things. I am very lucky. The best is the Zip-It bag at the bottom. Yes, it is a bag made from two zips. See for more details. My friend Kerry has a coin purse like this, or at least she did until her bag got stolen from her office a week ago. I spent hours online at the weekend searching for a replacement for her (but couldn't find one - it is hard to search for) then this arrives in the post today - how strange is that? Kerry I am going to keep looking!
I was also really really excited to get the Hanami pattern, I think this is definitely going to be my next lace project, I have had it in my Ravelry queue for ages. Talking of lace, MS3 is about 20 rows into clue 6. I really want to finish it before Brum Knit Night next week... but not sure I will... must go and knit more...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 3 - Trivia

Come on Gryffindor!

1. What was the name of the book Dumbledore left for Hermione in his will?
a. The Tales of Beedle the Bard

2. Whose sign was on Xenophilius Lovegood's chest?
d. Grindewald

3. Was October 30, 1980 the night that Lilly and James Potter died?
b. No, it was the 31st (can I have an extra point for knowing the right day?)

4. What's another name for the Elder Wand?
a. Deathstick

5. Whose Potterwatch code name was 'Rodent'?
d. Fred

6. What was so special about the peacocks at the Malfoy Manor?
d. They were all white

7. Who does Harry say was "probably the bravest man I knew?"
a. Snape

8. What thing was Lockhart giving Hagrid advice about getting out of a well?
b. Kelpies

9. What was the occupation of Colin Creevey's father?
d. Milkman

10. Which Professor of Hogwarts was a dueling champion when he was young?
a. Flitwick

Picture Scavenger Hunt
You can either post these pictures on your blog or provide a link to where they can be found.

Bertie Botts Beans
Jelly Slugs
Chocolate Frogs
Blood Pops
Jenean's first HSKS kit
(Bonus Point: Who made the kit?) Ansley!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bang Bang, I'm dead

My participation is Sockwars is over. I was killed by a friend as well. Tut :0)
Here is how far I have got. Unfortunately I had to work on the train this morning, so no chance of finishing them. They will be in the post to Wendy first thing tomorrow morning and my target lives to fight another day (well at least until Friday at this rate I think).
Thanks for my fab socks. I still can't quite believe how you managed to draw me as your target!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just like Christmas!

I collected my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap parcel from the post office this evening.... and it felt like Christmas when I opened the packet!I carefully opened them one by one, shrieking in delight at how perfect all of the presents are:
I should have expected no less really as I was very lucky to have Adele, Hufflepuff prefect, as my swap partner.
She sent me - a home stitched project bag and knitting needle pouch, home made cards (HP and sheep themed), some custom dyed Gryffindor yarn from Debbie at Skein Queen, G&B's chocolate (yum), jelly beans (yum again), the best sheep stitch markers you have ever seen from Yarnimals, ( go and look now, they are fantastic) a sorting hat badge, Speedway socks pattern and Socks Soar on Two Circulars. Such an amazing parcel. Thank you so much Adele.
In other news, I am currently awaiting my assassination in sock wars. It will be soon, as I know I am dying and I have a very good suspicion of who the culprit is. I have 2/3rd of the first sock done and a trip to Milton Keynes tomorrow in which to finish them both!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A little stash enhancement

I headed off to the Knitting and Stitching show on Saturday morning with my good friend Kerry. We were both ridiculously excitable, and were not disappointed as you can see from my haul below.
My new found interest in sewing meant I had access to lots of new and exciting fabrics. At the top left we have some Corduroy with little orange and white flowers printed on, enough for a skirt for me and hopefully dungarees for Hattie for Christmas. The baby cord on the top left is for more trousers/dungarees for small peoples Christmas presents. I need to look for a pattern now! Most of the fabrics at the bottom (except the Christmas one) came from Euro Japan Links
They have some amazing fabrics!
Now onto the wool. I was very restrained, and only bought the things on my list, (apart from the Seacell/Silk from Kerrie). I didn't buy any Qiviut (I cannot describe how divine this was) or any Yak - although I really really wanted to. There was lots and lots of great stalls and it was so much better than the show I went to at the NEC last year.
At the top we have some Pura Lana Ecologica in charcoal and cream from Uppingham Yarns. Alison told me about this stuff, and was absolutely right, it is amazing soft and a bargain at £2.50 a ball. My mom wants a poncho for Christmas, so this is perfect yarn for that.
I bought some bamboo dpn's for my Hogwarts Sock Swap Kit from Knit n' Caboodle. Two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid in Slate to make knee high socks for Kerry's Christmas present. I haven't decided on a pattern yet (ideas gratefully received!) 2 skeins of Shepherd Sock in Denim from Get Knitted. About the only colour left that I haven't already used suitable for Tony socks. Lastly, whilst dropping off a couple of squares for Oliver's Blanket with Kerrie at the Hipknits stand I couldn't resist the gorgeous silk and seacell laceweight she had.... such a gorgeous colour purple with subtle variations. I have no idea what to do with this, but maybe I will use it for the Secret of the Stole which started a couple of weeks ago. However I do need to finish MS3 first! This is how far I've got... yes I'm onto the wing at long last ;0)
In the spirit of Socktober I have also finished some socks. Fruit Salad socks from my Yarn Yarn Club yarn for September. I also remembered to take a photo of Tony's Anniversary socks.
Madder Rib from Vintage Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport colourway Safari. The pooling around the ankle annoys him as it is not symmetrical - but tough as he hates short row heels too!
Finally, I got some presents this weekend. Kerry was making me a shawl for my birthday... she had made lots and lots and lots of circles in gorgeous bamboo. However, after making hundreds of circles she realised she should have crocheted them together as she went... as any joins she did really didn't seem to work. So instead, she bought me a great Kim Hargreaves kit to make this ADORABLE baby hooded cape. Isn't it the most fantastic thing ever? I need to make it, and I need a baby to make it for! Tony got scared when I told him this :0) He also said he needs to have words with Kerry for encouraging me!
So, does anyone have any great ideas on how to join hundreds of circles without them looking stupid? I have some sock yarn in a similar colour which might work.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hats and Scarves

I've been poorly again this week (grr), but I'm feeling much better now. It did mean I had time to finish my drop stitch scarf:
Doesn't it match my new purple hoodie very well?
Started: End Sept
Finished: 5th October
Pattern: A modified version of Clapotis.
Yarn: Posh Yarn Sophia DK in Emperor. 2 Skeins.
Was a surprisingly quick knit and easy enough for a poorly person to cope with. It is lovely and soft and a definite success. I need to think of what to knit with the other two skeins. I am thinking maybe the Cabled Newsboy Cap from Stitch n Bitch nation if I can get the gauge right.

I tried out my first Woolly Wormhead pattern last weekend also, how cute is this?
It is the Baby Rollin' Beret. It took about 2 hours - I knit the largest size on smaller needles so I think unfortunately it might be too small for Hattie, but I can always try making another. I've got just over a skein of the Cashsoft DK so I might be able to make something work!
I've swatched for Fyne too:
It is a little bit too loose so think I might need to go down a needle size, I am still contemplating whether to do this in the round and steek it or whether to go with the no brain option and follow the pattern and knit it flat. Any thoughts? The brown is the main colour and the ginger is one of the contrast colours, but I thought I'd have most of that left over so I swatched with it.
Today I played with my sewing machine a bit more. I made a couple of little project bags, and this bit of patchwork. I wanted to see how easy it was.... have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Maybe turn it into a bag? It is about tote bag size. Would make a cool pillow too, but not really sure what I'd do with a pillow!
I'm off to Ally Pally next Saturday, so maybe I'll pick up some ideas there. Must start writing my shopping list so I don't get carried away!

Friday, October 05, 2007


1. In Deathly Hallows what does Harry step on when exiting his room to wash his cut?
c. A teacup

2. Which two members of the Order of Phoenix came to escort the Dursleys to a safe place?
b. Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones

3. In order to throw off the Death Eaters, several of Harry's friends take Polyjuice Potion to resemble him and each Harry goes with a different member of the Order of the Phoenix to a different location. Where do Ron (disguised as Harry) and Tonks go?
a. Aunty Muriel's house

4. At Bill and Fleur's wedding, Harry must disguise himself by taking Polyjuice Potion and takes on the appearnce of a redheaded Muggle boy from Ottery St. Catchpol. He was introduced to wedding guests as Cousin . . .
c. Barny

5. Kingsley sends a message via Patronus to warn the Weasleys and wedding guests of the coming Death Eaters. What form does his Patronus take?
b. A lynx

6. In the Half-Blood Prince what drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?
a. Pumpkin Juice

7. What is the name of the person that heads the Holyhead Harpies?
a. Gwenog Jones

8. What tatoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?
b. Hippogriff

9. What color robes do the staff at Weasley's shop wear?
b. Magenta

10. Where do Nicolas Flamel and his wife Perenelle live?
d. Devon

Picture Scavenger Hunt
You can either post these pictures on your blog or provide a link to where the pictures are located.

A Slytherin Quidditch Uniform (left)
A Gryffindor Quidditch Uniform (right)

A Hufflepuff Quidditch Uniform
A Ravenclaw Quidditch Uniform
A Picture of the Room of Requirement

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sickness helps the stole grow

I've been off work since Wednesday with food poisoning. Or at least that is what the doctor thinks it is. This has allowed me a lot of time sitting on the sofa watching films and knitting. This is something I hardly ever have the luxury of doing, so despite the pain and nastiness of being ill, it has been an ok 3 days.
I've finished the Lacy Jacket for Hattie BeaThe pattern in from a Vintage Emu book I found on ebay.
Yarn is Rowan Cashsoft DK and it took about 2.5 balls I think, maybe a little more.
I started this last December, as a potential Christmas present, but it was going to be miles too big, hopefully it should fit her now. She will be 1 in about 10 days time.
My favourite is the little elephant button:
I have also managed some more on the MS3. I had a go at blocking it with the steam iron earlier, it seemed to work quite well (although now I can see the mistakes more). I've just finished the first chart of clue 4, which I think means I am about half way through.
It has been feeling distinctly Autumnal around here lately, so I decided to put my Posh Yarn to good use, and I'm making myself a cosy "posh" new scarf. It is a mini-clapotis. Modified using these instructions.
I can't wait to wear it, hmmmmm a cashmere scarf, what a treat.