Thursday, June 28, 2007


I ventured out at lunchtime today to my normal knitting spot, in the sunshine by the BBC screen in Birmingham City centre. Look what I found - a beach in Birmingham

I got to sit in a deckchair and knit my sockpalooza socks for 30 mins in the sunshine (yes it really was sunny for about 30 mins today). How cool is that? Yes, I know, lots of people have a real beach to go and sit on - but I live just about as far away from the coast as is physically possible in this country so it is a real novelty!
Here are the said socks. In The Yarn Yard June sock club June colourway.
The pattern is my first go at sock designing. I wanted a sock with a cable pattern down each side of the leg and foot. I liked this design I found on Ravelry but thought it would look much better in a solid colour. I was also keen on slip stitch designs, as I think they look good in variegated yarns. My Harmony Stitch dictionary turned up this 9 stitch fishtail cable design, I've added two reverse stst stitches to either side. I'm really liking it so far. It is very fast to knit and the pattern keeps a bit of interest. I still can't get the hang of cabling without a cable needle though!
I'm going to do a short row heel (as with the Jaywalkers below) and then continue the pattern down the foot. Fingers crossed it works!
Here are the finished stripy Jaywalkers - toe up - I love them. And they nearly match! Yipeeee.

If that was not enough excitement for one day I got home to find my prize from Wendy had arrived!Some more yummy Yarn Yard sock yarn. Wendy also sent me some beautiful little green earrings and some delicious chocolate as a belated birthday present. Thank You so much!
Talking of Wendy, I started relaying a story to Tony the other day about one of my friends. I realised half way through my story it wasn't someone I had actually met or knew, it was someone whose blog I read. Is it strange it is that I really feel like some of my fellow bloggers are friends even though we have never met and mostly only communicate through our blogs? I find it a little disconcerting when I think about it, because no one puts their whole life on their blog, so can you really "know" someone this way. I'd like to think that people like Wendy and Bryony and I would all get on fabulously... but you never know do you? We might fight over wool and stick knitting needles in each other :0)

Friday, June 22, 2007

How hard is lace?

I am in a bit of a quandry at the moment. I want to knit a lace stole. I want a lace stole to go with my brown silk dress I intend to wear to the only wedding we have this year (30th September). However, since I found out about Mystery Stole 3, I really want to knit THIS stole (even though I have no idea what it looks like, it sounds fun).
I've followed lace patterns for socks, and read charts, but I've never knit with laceweight yarn. In fact there are only 4 skeins in my stash - 2 Knitpicks from a SP and 2 lilac skeins from Posh Yarns. Neither of these add up to enough, so I have asked Natalie over at the Yarn Yard to custom dye me some organic laceweight merino in a light brown that will go with my dress and the left over beads I have from Odessa.
I'm worried I won't be able to do it and then I'll be really disappointed.
Do you think I should start with something smaller - like Branching Out from Knitty?
I think I need to practice some lace before I start... maybe I'll do some swatches on the trip down south this weekend. Unfortunately I think they'll have to be in leftover sock yarn as that's all I have with me. Have a lovely weekend and I'll be back on Sunday with a picture of my home-made swift!

You are never too old for Lego

Look how useful it can be....
A wonderful new swift for Ruth crafted last Sunday evening out of the Technic Lego I knew was stashed at my Mom's house (can you believe it was hidden UNDERNEATH the bottom draws in a chest of drawers - I would never have found it!)
Winding balls is so much more fun now. I would all of the skeins I had downstairs last Sunday evening. I'll try and get a video clip of it in action when I wind some more! Although I am hoping that it doesn't discourage Tony from making me a real one from wood.
In other news, I've spent the weekend in Surrey with friends.Owen now has a new cricket top. He is nearly 4 months, so this would never have fit Toby, its intended recipient, who is 1 year. So I started another one whilst babysitting on Saturday night, this is the progress so far after a very LONG journey home.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What... no knitting?

Not much knitting has been going on around here this week. I have managed to finish one Jaywalker..... Short row heel from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 and picot top
Very cute, don't you think? The other one is just past the toe.
Instead of knitting the librarian in my has catalogued most of my stash on Ravelry. I am too scared to download the spreadsheet that will let me add up how many yards of yarn I have in the loft. However I have counted, and I have enough yarn for 24 pairs of sock - which is only one pair every two weeks for a year. That's hardly any at all :0)
In doing this I have dug out an old UFO...
My Noro Kureyon blanket. I remember starting to crochet the squares together a little while ago. I might go and add some more now.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pullovers, bags and greenhouses.

The cricket pullover is finished, however my pattern design leaves something to be desired as this is far too small for the intended recipient. However, I do know what to do to correct that, and this will be a surprise present for another little boy! I do like it, so am definitely going to try to make a bigger size!
I've been crocheting too, here is the Soft Waves pattern from Jan Eaton's 200 Ripple Stitch patterns. I have made it into a bag for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. Now all I need to do is make some stitch markers and everything will be ready to send.
Finally, here is a garden update. Tony and his dad have been working very hard putting up fencing. I have been cleaning the "new" greenhouse. Our next door neighbour said we could have her greenhouse as she doesn't use it any more, so it has been moved about 6ft from the other side of the fence. I have had the job of cleaning 15 years worth of dirt and spiders off it. About half of the glass is cleaned and in now, despite me breaking 3 panes.... oops.
Next to the greenhouse, just behind Tony is my vegetable plot-to-be and in front of him is all the soil I need to put into the vegetable plot before I can grow anything. A job for one night this week I think.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

If in doubt....

Make some Jaywalkers. I knew as soon as my SP10 sent me this yarn it was destined to be Jaywalkers. Aren't they just the best?I started the toe last night and followed the instructions for a Turkish cast-on and the pattern for toe up socks from the Summer Interweave knits. I'm not sure if I got the cast on right, but it looks ok. The rest of the sock is commuting knitting from today. I love them already. Thank you secret pal... you sent the perfect yarn!
I was allowed to start new socks because I finished the RPM socks last night.
They are still a bit wet, so no modelled pictures. A quick trip over the Ravelry tells me -
Started : April 07
Finished: 2nd June 07
Pattern: RPM from Knitty
Yarn: Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Farmhouse
Needles: 2.5mm addi turbos and 2.5 mm Brittany birch dpns
Comments: I liked the pattern, it works really well with this yarn. I did make "proper" spirals with no jogs as I found this easier to memorise (basically I did the pattern with 1 stitch less)
I'm just hoping they fit as I think they might be a big big after blocking. I'm also hoping the colour doesn't fade too much, lots of dye seemed to come out when I handwashed them.
Finally we have the progress on the made-up cricket pullover for Toby. The back is done, and now all I have to do is figure out the decreases on the front! Not bad so far for a completely made up pattern.... Let's just hope it fits
P.S. Ravelry is the best, don't worry if you haven't got your invite yet, lots more are going out every day... and it is worth waiting for (even though you get sucked in to uploading all your old projects and don't do any knitting).

Monday, June 04, 2007


Can't blog, must upload projects.....
My invite arrived on Sunday and I have spent most of the evening adding projects onto it. It is such a fabulous idea and will be a fantastic resource for Knitters and Crocheters.
If you are on there, please be my friend!
In bird box news, the last 3 chicks have flown the nest today. I am praying they are ok, as the dozy one got eaten by a cat on Saturday :0( I miss them already.
More knitting news later in the week. Must add more things to Ravelry.

Friday, June 01, 2007

4 Things About Me.

I've been tagged again, this time by Wendy

4 Jobs I have had in my life
- Sales Assistant in a jewellery/gift/fancy dress shop when I was at school
- Packing surgical dressings in a factory in Wolverhampton during university holidays
- Library Assistant at the Department for Education and Employment (where I was always scared that I would tread on Lucy - (David Blunkett's guide dog) as she used to lie on your feet in the lift)
- Corporate Finance Researcher - what I've been doing for the last 8 years, previously for an investment bank now for an accountancy firm.
4 films I can watch again and again
Pulp Fiction
The Wizard of Oz
Moulin Rouge
Kill Bill (either of them but I have to close my eyes when it gets to the eyeball bit!

4 places I have lived
- Wolverhampton, where I grew up and where I live now.
- Sheffield - my University town
- Fulham, West London - in a gorgous but shabby Victorian terrace house with a landlord who had no idea what rental prices should be in this area.
- Mitcham - where I bought my flat

4 TV series I watch
-ER.- Religiously since the first series
-Gand Designs - because it is the only reason Tony has a TV and he was very upset to find it has been replaced by BB
Um, probably not much else to be honest. Maybe Gardeners' World when I remember it is on.

4 places I have been on holiday
So many lovely places to choose from.
-The Lake District is probably my favouriteand we've been here about once a year for the last 5 or 6 years
-Mexico - my dad won a trip to Acapulco in a radio quiz when I was 13 and we went on our first overseas family holiday there
-Italy - I've been to Venice, Verona and Rome and loved them all. The food is fab too.
-St Petersburg - I had a friend studying out there whilst I was at uni so I went to visit her. It seemed like such a normal thing to do at the time! It was freezing but beautiful.

4 things I do every time I go on the Net
-check my email
-check Bloglines for new posts
-check the weather
-work (mostly - I am a researcher who spends all day on the net)
4 things I would NOT eat for anything in the world
-Lobster, I'm scared of them
-Jellied eels - they look horrid and I can't imagine how slimey they must be
-Any kind of insect/grub type thing
-Scrambled egg - just the smell of it makes me retch!
4 places I would love to be right now
-On the sofa knitting
-With my friends chilling out
- Planting things in the garden
4 people I tag