Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SP - Extra Questions

Our hostess has set us some more questions....
1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without? - My needles? Do these count or am I just being annoying?
2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If
so, how much and what type of project?
I always take knitting everywhere I go... Depends what kind of holiday, but probably some socks and whatever larger project I'm working on. Which reminds me, I need to find a crochet project for the flight to Canada in a couple of weeks
3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favourite spot? I love holidaying in the UK... the Lake District is probably my fave...
4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it? Knitting book would probably be the Interweave Favourite socks, I love almost all of them I love. Corchet book would be Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks - so many possibilities. I have both of them.
5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)? I listen to Cast-On, Lixie Knits it and BritKnitCast and love them all... does anyone know any others worth a listen?

Playing Catch-Up....

For Lauren's 30th birthday I decided to make her a tank top. She saw this top I made for Hattie and asked if it came in adult sizes, so I guessed I was onto a winner. After much browsing on Ravelry I chose to make Ms Marigold.
The pattern hadn't got rave reviews, but I really liked all of the finished ones I saw, so I decided to give it a go. I made it in Rowan Calmer... which is lovely and soft and very stretchy too!
After one false start when my gauge was completely off I managed to complete the shoulders Then join in the round - I had a trip to London at this point to make Kerry try it on as I really wasn't sure of the sizing!
Then before I knew it, it was finished bar the crochet frills. I knit most of the body when I was at the proms night a few posts ago!
I gave it to Lauren on Saturday...
I think the smile says she likes it! AND it fits - phew!
My favourite bit is the frilly sleeves!
Started: 14/07/2007
Finished: 15/08/2007
Pattern: Ms Marigold by Zephyr Style.
Size: Small
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean - 4 balls
Needles: Addi turbo's - 5mm and a 3.5mm crochet hook for the sleeve frills Comments: It came out great, it fits and it really suits Lauren. I love knitting with Calmer. I knew the flaws of the pattern before I started - no schematic and no stitch counts. If I was making this for myself it would have been fine, as I could try on as I went.. as it was I winged it a bit...A success. Yipeeeeee.
I also managed to complete a very overdue 30th birthday present.
James' tie is finally finished! I have to say I hated every minute of knitting it. I vow now *NEVER* to knit anything on 2mm needles again. I don't know how the extra0.5mm makes so much difference, but it does.
Started: In january sometime
Finished: 16th August 2007
Pattern: From a vintage pattern book
Yarn: Rowan 4 ply soft in Navy and Beetroot - less than 1 ball of each
Needles: 2mm addit turbos.
Comments: I hated knitting it. James loves it. Enough said!
Still in progress is MS3 - I started clue 3 today. (Sorry the picture is so rubbish - I found out today that it is too dark to take photos at 8.15pm. Boo.)
I also made a purchase from John Lewis in Nottingham today...

4 skeins of Mirasol Hacho.... a new DK 100% merino, which I believe is exclusive to JL. 2 in shade 302 (top) and two in 303 (bottom). I might try and alter the Monkey pattern and make some quick socks from them. Or I might use them to make baby things... not sure yet. It is really really springy and soft. I think I might send some to my SP

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

Yes, I signed up again -
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?Anything natural is fine by me.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I've got an amazing stand my bf made me for my wooden needles. I have a cupboard in the lounge with my current projects in. my crochet hooks are stored in a jam jar on the shelf in there - it works quite well.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?I learnt when I was about 10 or so, knitted loads of soft toys in my early teens and then knit on and off for about the next 10 or so years, not really making it my hobby. I reckon I've been knitting solidly for about the last 2 years or so, since my friends started having babies to knit for. Probably about intermediate skill level
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Not one that is up-to-date
5. What's your favorite scent?I don't really do heavily scented things, probably lavender if I had to pick
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?Yes! Malteasers and Green & Blacks chocolate for a bit of luxury.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?I crochet too, which I enjoy as a change from knitting. I like baking and gardening too but don't tend to get much time to do either! I don't spin and don't have and craving to do so at the moment. I got a sewing machine for my birthday, so I'm having fun learning how to sew.
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, The Wonderstuff etc. Recently, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and more chilled out stuff too like Scott Matthews. I *may* also be found at Take That/Robbie Williams and Wet Wet Wet concerts. oops.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?I am addicted to stripy things. I just cannot stop buying them. My wardrobe seems to consist of a lot of pink, brown and turquoise at the moment too, so I think that must be a favourite along with purple.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?I live with my lovely bf in Wolverhampton. No pets.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?Yes to scarves, hats and mittens. A girl can never have enough of these.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?Socks, socks and more socks. Oh and presents for small children too.
13. What are you knitting right now? Mystery Shawl 3 (my first big lace project), a couple of pairs of socks and a few assorted baby items. I also have a crochet hexagon throw which I pick up from time to time.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?Love them!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?Depends what I'm knitting. I have a set of wooden straight needles; I knit socks on 30cm circulars or bamboo dpns. I like addi turbos and have found the addi lace needles fantastic.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?Yes to a winder. I made myself a swift from lego a month or so ago!
17. How old is your oldest UFO?March 06 - but it is a big blanket that I always knew would be a long term project.
18. What is your favorite holiday?Christmas.
19. Is there anything that you collect?Nope, although Tony would tell you I collect wool.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have a subscriptions to Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, Simply Knitting and Yarn Forward (so that is just about all bases covered!) I love sock yarn. I'd also like to increase my fabric stash a little. I'm also interested in simple(ish) lace patterns and laceweight yarn.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'm trying to get to grips with lace!
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?Oh yes. I knit socks on the bus and train on my commute into Birmingham every day. I am UK Size 6-7. I can give you more specific measurements if you want them.
23. When is your birthday?May 18th.
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Sure am. Rooknits is my ID

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Crafty Week

Mystery Shawl Progress, I am about 6 rows into clue two. Hoping to get a lot more done on my trip to Surrey for Owen's Christening.
I have made booties for the latest arrival, Isobel. Actually I have only made one bootie... must make the other one. Isobel was bornon Thursday to my ex-work colleague Tracey who now lives in Melbourne, Australia. Congrats Trace!
Isn't it cute? The pattern is free from Saartje. If green and orange seems a strange choice, it matches the sleep suits I bought! I'm making an amigurumi butterfly to go with it too... or at least that is what it looks like in my head. Photos in the next post.
I have also made this bag for another person born on 9th August. Happy Birthday Non!
I'm seeing Non tomorrow. I am hoping she is too busy with Christening arrangements to read here before she receives this present! The pattern is adapted from "Bend the Rules Sewing" by Amy Karol. I added some wadding to the straps and made them the same length so I could add a button and button loop. Not bad for a second attempt at bag making!
Here is the first . Made using the free pattern at I got a bit muddled with sewing everything together inside out and then turning it the right way. I'd sewn the handles in wrong so they were always inside the bag. Ooops. I managed to rectify this however and now I have a fab new tote bag.I will leave you with photos of the fireworks from the Proms night at Shugborough Hall last Saturday.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


My Mystery Stole in the Malabrigo Lace has begun.
I am in love with this yarn. It is amazingly soft and the colour variation is so subtle. I think it is also the perfect weight for this shawl as you can really see the pattern. I managed the first 70 odd rows on the train to and from London (about 4 hours in total). I think this might take me a LONG time. However I loved every minute of it, and as Nic said to me, you get a break on the purl row!
Thanks for all of the lovely comments on my Sockapalooooza socks too - I truly am the luckiest knitter :0)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 - My socks are here

And I am never going to take them off.
I have spent ages drooling over them and their progress on Roobeedoo's blog.
Now they are mine and I can hardly believe it (insert a manic shriek of laughter here). I love them and they fit perfectly. THANK YOU so so so much.
Ruth also sent me the left overs to practice the fair isle technique and so left over Duet sock yarn as she knows Bryony and I had a little sock yarn swap a couple of weeks ago. Such a wonderful package.THANK YOU

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Parcels Galore

On my journey home from Birmingham this evening, after an evening out with my friend Lynn, I was conjuring up a blog post in my mind. This weekend will be 1 year since I moved from London and back to Wolverhampton. I have had two really lovely weeks, filled with seeing people and doing things and generally finally feeling like I am properly settling in here... It hasn't been easy; adjusting to life back where I grew up, where nothing is quite the same, missing my friends, learning to live in the same house as my boyfriend. I've had times where I have been thoroughly miserable, but I have great friends and although they are not just around the corner, I can still rely on them for support and a shoulder to cry on when things get hard and I love them all for that. On the plus side, I have had a lot more time for crafty things, more time to devote to this blog and I also feel like I've made friends with people online. I'm hoping to meet up with Wendy this weekend as I'm down her way on a course... I'm sure a time will come when I bump into all of the other knitting friends I've made. All is well with the world once again :0)
Anyway, now all that is out of the way... I can show you something that makes far more interesting reading. I got home this evening to 4 parcels! Number 1 (top) contained my Hogwarts sock kit. A little late, as it has been returned to sender once!
Kiki sent me a fabulous Ravenclaw parcel of hand dyed sock yarn from a friend of hers, a bag and stitch markers she made herself, some lavender,sweets, needles and Harry Potter stickers. Thank you Kiki, it is fabulous package . The second parcel I sent to Lena also arrived today. Yipeee.
Next up comes some Yarn Yard Sock Yarn. Natalie had a sale at the weekend and it seems I was having a green day!
We have (l-r) Tour de France Trente-huit, seize, dix-huit and trente-cinq. I love them all!
In the little parcel we have the Malabrigo I have been waiting for to start the Mystery Shawl.
Emily bought her MS3 to Brum Knit Night on Tuesday and it is truly amazing (as is her swallowtail shawl - check it out!). She also bought some Malabrigo for me to fondle and I was really really hoping mine would arrive soon.
I think I will be winding this into a ball tomorrow! I can't possibly describe how soft this is.
And finally, in the last (ridiculously large) box were three new books...
But as I haven't even had a chance to open them yet you'll have to wait until next time for a review!