Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fairy lights aren't just for Christmas...

cathedral 001
Continuing with the Birmingham photo theme.... I walk past these magic trees in the grounds of the Cathedral every evening on my way home. I will be a little bit sad when it is too light in the evening to see the fairies in the trees.

This weeks train knitting has been Kerry's Christmas socks...
kilt hose 003
I think they might be ready for your birthday! Looking cool though :0) I just hope they are not too big!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A lovely weekend

It was such a lovely sunny day today Tony and I had a trip out to the seaside. Seeing as we live just about as far from the sea as is possible in the UK, this was perhaps a little bit silly... but with views like this it was worth it!
Barmouth Estuary
barmouth 004
And what could be better than chips at the seaside! (Sadly, Sizzlers Burger Emporium was closed!)
barmouth 002

After my visit to Nottingham on Saturday I am pleased to report that baby Joshua is just gorgeous, I forgot my camera (doh) , but I did make Cath take some photos of Joshua, his new blanket and I. The blanket was very well received :0) as was the orange Chevvy van for Toby and the Chocolate for Cath & Phil.
I didn't quite have time to finish this before heading off to Nottingham, so I'll put it in the post tomorrow. Every baby needs a tank top!

oz vest 002

Pattern: Oz Vest from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Mums.
Yarn: Left over DB Cashmerino from Joshua's Blanket
Size: - 0-3 months
Started: 22nd Jan
Finished: 27th Jan
Comments: This is the second time I've used the Oz Vest pattern, it is a really quick baby knit. I love the stripes and they work much better with the garter ridges than I expected. I crocheted around the armholes, as I find this easier and neater than picking up stitches.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Joshua's Willow Blanket

Horay, it is finished :0)
josh blanket final 003
Sorry for the poor photo, but I wanted to share my excitement with everyone. I'll try and get a better photo at the weekend, maybe I'll manage to get a photo of Joshua with his blanket too!
Pattern - Willow Block from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks with made up shell edging.
Yarn - Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - I think I used about 17 different shades... probably about half a ball of each.
Started: 4th January
Finished: 20th January
Comments: I am amazed how well so many different shades of this yarn go together, but the finished blanket really does gel. I wanted this to be as random as possible, which is hard for my symmetrical brain to cope with, but I think it works. I love the block design, it looks complicated but really isn't and is easy to memorise. If I did it again I think I would use cream and two complimentary colours in each block, as my favourite squares are the ones with cream in.
I wonder what else I can make for the new little man before Saturday??

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Progress on little Joshua's blanket continues at a pace
josh blanket 25 squares 005
All other knitting and crochet has been put to one side to try and finish this by next Thursday... 5 more squares and a border left. My favourite square so far is the third row down, second from the left; yellow, white and blue. I think these would be great colours for a complete blanket. Which is your favourite?
I think I may have been inspired by this wonderful ceiling:
bham 002
I walk past it every day and I thought it was about time I took a photo. It is Bennetts bar on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham; I think it used to be a bank.
There are lots of fabulous buildings with amazing details really near my office, I'll try and take a few photos over the next couple of weeks. Here are two I took the other day
bham 003
bham 001

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

UK Swap Questionnaire

My first swap of the year is going to be the UK Swap
I've seen it advertised on a few blogs and on Ravelry and thought it would be fun to get to know more UK knitters. I've had such positive experiences when swapping within the UK before, I hope this time is as successful.
Sign ups are open until 21st Jan if you are in the UK and interested.

Part One: Crafting
Do you knit, crochet, or both?
Both. I've been knitting since I was small and crocheting for a couple of years after being taught by a friend.

What do you like to make?
Socks have been my addiction. I've spent most of the last few years making presents for children, jumpers/scarves/hats etc. I've also made a few crochet baby blankets. My first lace stole last year was a great success and very rewarding. 2008 is supposed to be the year of making things for me, including some larger items like jumpers.

Do you have a favourite project?
My most rewarding project was the Mystery Stole 3 I made last year.
ms3 complete 001
My favourite thing to wear are my stripy jaywalkers. Jaywalker 001They make me smile.

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
I'll try almost anything. However anything with some cashmere in probably would win if there was a contest.

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
Novelty or furry yarns that are hideous to knit with.

Do you do any other crafts?
I was bought a sewing machine for my 30th birthday last year, and I am slowly learning to use it.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?
Socks - always have an unfinished sock with me

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in?
I've made a few sock bags which fit needles and yarn

Do you want something new?
Not particularly... but I am a sucker for bags!

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
I have promised myself I am not buying any sock yarn this year, however the following are on my sock yarn wish list:
(b) Dream in Color - Smooshy. I love the purple colourway.
(c) Noro sock yarn (don't even know if it is available here but I know I would love it)
(d) Sock yarn with some bamboo content.

Other than that I would really love some purple laceweight (preferably with some cashmere content or Malabrigo)
I have a wish list on Amazon I keep fairly up-to-date. The vogue socks book is at the top of the list.

Part Two: Your Favourites

What is your favourite colour?

What is your least favourite colour?
I don't think there is much I don't like.

What scents/smells do you like?
Lavender. My favourite perfume is Flower by Kenzo if that helps.

What don’t you like?
Musky type smells.

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
Handcreams are always good.

What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with? (chocolate, biscuits, truffles, etc.)
Chocolate, yum. Don't really like truffles or any kind of chocolate with alcohol in. Everything else is good.

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind?
Tea - peppermint or redbush.

Favourite mug/cup?
My Edward Monkton china mug from here - I love drinking tea from a china mug/cup.

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)
I listen to Cast On and Lixie Knits it whilst travelling. I usually knit in the evening, the TV may or may not be on! Favouite music is a bit of a mix between cheesy pop and 90's/00's indie! Think Take That, Wonderstuff, Arctic Monkeys, Little Man Tate. I had the latest Live Lounge album for Christmas and that is fab.

Part Three: Living & Past-times
Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I grew up here, moved to Sheffield for University and then to London for work... I came back home in August last year.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Australia - to see friends or somewhere in the middle of nowhere on holiday - probably Scotland actually!

If you couldn’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to? (book club, tea party, yoga class, jewelery class, etc.)
A tea party sounds like fun.

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
I don't really have a style... just lots of purple things

Final Part:
Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?Nope...

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
Please don't think that I expect you to buy any of the things above :0) I just wanted to give you an idea of the kind of things I would like.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My first finished object of 2008....

is... a pair of socks, surprise surprise! These are for my Vintage Sock Swap pal and went in the post at lunch today.
gentleman sock evening wear 001

Pattern: Gentleman's Sock for Evening Wear by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Regia Silk Color in Burgundy (32)
Needles: 2.5mm
Modifications: I cast on 64 stitches, knit 15 rows of 1x1 ribbing then went straight into leg pattern. Heel was worked over 30 stitches in a sl1k1 on right side and sl1 p to end on wrong side over 30 rows. I decreased to 60 stitches after heel.
Comments: The pattern was far easier to memorise than I thought it would be. I like the chevron shapes of the purl rows and think this would look good in self striping yarn, if you could get the stripes to line up. Knitting the pattern on the front of the sock certainly made things faster.

gentleman sock evening wear 010

gentleman sock evening wear 005

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blanket Update

This week has mostly been about hospital visits but I have taken some time out to work on the blanket for Joshua. What do you think so far?
plant blanket_12 003
I have also spent too much time on Ravelry, looking at patterns and wondering if I should knit him a hat or a jumper or socks or maybe all three. If I'd actually spent that time knitting then they might be done by now! Ooops.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And the winner is....

Sue with 80 pairs. Well done Sue, the first comment won! Thank you all for playing along with my silly game.

This is how I worked it out. I reckon an average pair of socks for me takes about 70g of 4ply/fingering weight wool. There are 54 different lots of 100g balls/hanks in the picture below. Some a little more, some a little less than but I reckon 100g is about average.
So 54x100=5400 (eek that is £5.4kg of sock yarn.. oops) 5400/70 = 77 pairs

That is a lot of socks! Maybe I need to consider what else I can make from sock yarn.One my list so far is the Chevron Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts from two of my skeins of Socks that Rock (Watermelon Tourmaline and Fire on the Mountain as I love this one on Ravelry)
I also have Devan in my Ravelry queue and thought about using some of my Yarn Yard sock club yarn for it. Hmmmm. I wish there were more hours in the week for knitting.
(P.s. Mum is out of Intensive Care and was sitting up in a chair on the recovery ward tonight, the miracle of modern medicine. There is still a long way to go but things are looking up. Thanks for all of your best wishes... )

sock yarn 034







Trekking (XXL)




Vera Adore




Sock Yarn




Superwash Merino Fingering Sock Yarn

Pansy Patch


Ruby Sapphire Yarns

Luster Sock Yarn



Beyond Basic Knits




Das Schneeschaf

Superwash Sock



Skein Queen

Supersoft Merino



Bright Dyes

Hand Dyed Sock Yarn



Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Socks that Rock - Lightweight

Lucy in the Sky


Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Socks that Rock - Lightweight

Little Bunny Foo Foo


Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Socks that Rock - Lightweight

Watermelon Tourmaline


Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Socks that Rock - Lightweight

Fire on the Mountain


Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Socks that Rock - Lightweight

January One


Lorna's Laces

Shepherd Sock Multi



Lorna's Laces

Shepherd Sock Multi



Lorna's Laces

Shepherd Sock Multi

302 Jungle Stripe


Lorna's Laces

Shepherd Sock Solid

22NS Turquoise


Posh Yarn


Highland (?)


Posh Yarn

Emily (4 Ply Sock)

Deep Red/Pink


Posh Yarn




Lorna's Laces

Shepherd Sock Multi

Purple Iris



Merino Sock



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

April Yarn Club


The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

TdF Treize


The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

Trente Huit


The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



South West Trading Company




Klazien's Kreatie












Schachenmayr nomotta

Regia Stretch Color



Schachenmayr nomotta

Regia Mouline



Schachenmayr nomotta

Regia Sierra Color



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

July – Strawberry Patch


The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

TdF 35


The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

Peppermint Pink


The Yarn Yard

Merino Sock



The Yarn Yard

50% Merino 50% Tencel Sock Yarn

September 07 – Doodle


The Natural Dye Studio

Luxury Merino Sock Wool



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn

TdF Quatre



Cashmere Sock Yarn




Cashmere Sock Yarn




Town and Country



Zwerger Garn

Opal Feelings



Zwerger Garn

Opal Feelings




Supersocke 100



Lana Grossa

Meilenweit 100 Inca



The Yarn Yard

Sock Yarn



Zwerger Garn

Opal Undyed

Red/Blue dyed with KoolAid

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Good News x2

A little update to let you all know my mum is out of surgery and stable in intensive care. Everything went well, at long last we are on the road to recovery. Thanks for all of the positive thoughts, I know they helped.
The other excellent news is that my friend Cath had a baby boy yesterday evening. He is called Joshua Henry Donald (after her Grandfather who passed away recently). A grand name for a grand little boy. I'd better pull my finger out and get crocheting some more squares!

Monday, January 07, 2008

A vintage parcel

I was having a rubbish day. Work was mad busy and I only just managed to escape in time to go and see my mum in hospital; she is having a heart valve replacement operation tomorrow. I was feeling pretty down when I got home, and they Tony showed my my parcel....
My vintage sock swap socks have arrived from Holland!
vintage sock swap 002
Along with a chocolate letter - which is a present for "Sinterklaas", some clips for holding my socks together and some lavender shower gel to help me relax. Just what I need today.
vintage sock swap 003
My socks are Fancy Silk Socks in Colinette Jitterbug.... they feel amazing and fit perfectly... thank you so so much Amemerins - and thank you Wendy for organising the swap.
I turned the heel on my second sock for this swap this morning on the train to work... I'm hoping I will be able to post them at the weekend.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A new blanket

There is a new baby due to a very good friend any day now. I thought it was time to get cracking on their blanket....
plant blanket 005
I don't know if it is a boy or a girl, but I think a multicoloured Baby Cashmerino blanket should fit the bill don't you? Here is the first row of Willow squares from 200 Crochet Blocks. I am picking the colours out of the bag at random. I think I've done fairly well so far.
P.s. Thank for all of the comments on my sock yarn mountain. If you want to guess how many pairs of socks I can make from this little lot then you could win a skein of your choice. I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday evening at 9.30pm (ish).

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A blogiversary prize (and more resolutions)

Another of my knitting resolutions is to not buy any more sock yarn.
Here is the current sock yarn mountain sock yarn 034
Can you guess how many pairs of socks I can make from the above yarn?
To celebrate my second blogging aniversary I will gift a skein (or two skeins if needed to make a pair) of your choice from this stash to the person/people closest. I'll pick a winner on Wednesday 9th January (a week from today.)