Saturday, May 31, 2008


So at last the sun has come out and I've managed to take some photos of my blocked Swallowtail Shawl. I knit this as part of a Knit-a-long on the Posh Yarn Ravelry group.Swallowtail
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark from Interweave Knits Fall 2006.
Yarn: Posh Yarn Eva 2ply (silk and cashmere) in Tinkerbell from my round one UK Swap pal.
Needles: 3.75mm Addi lace Turbos
Started: 17th April 2008
Finished: 26th May 2008
Modifications: I used beads instead of doing the nupps.
Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed knitting Swallowtail and I am thrilled with the results. The Eva is a dream to knit with, it has a fabulous drape and sheen. The colours is one I would never have chosen myself but I love it! The beads work really well too. I couldn't be faffed with knitting the nupps, however I do think the nupps look more like Lily of the Valley than the beads do. This project has made me want to knit more and more lace.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All about me

It's been far too wet and miserable to take any pictures of my finished Swallowtail so instead your Wednesday night blog post is the meme that is doing the rounds at the moment.... I considered myself tagged by Lin
1) What was I doing ten years ago?
Exactly 10 years ago I'd just turned 21 and was sitting my geography finals in Sheffield. Pretending to revise, wondering about what the future held. Worrying about losing touch with my friends and apprehensive about a potential move to London. I passed despite the lack of revision, I am still friends with everyone from Uni who I wanted to stay friends with and the move to London was a success - despite having NO money whatsoever.

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
1. Buy birthday presents, some belated some for next week
2. Pay in a cheque
3. Have dinner with my friend Lynn
4. Write a blog post
5. Call Lauren

3) Snacks I enjoy:
If I am honest, just chocolate, especially Malteasers and Twirls and G&B's chocolate.
However more recently I'm learning to enjoy apples and bananas and low fat yoghurt instead.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Hmmm... I'm not sure even that much money can magic up the things I dream of .....In my imaginary world I'd have all my friends living close enough to me so that I could pop around for a cup of tea. Everyone would be healthy and happy. I'd have pigs and a big vegetable garden and enough time to knit and not feel like I'd wasted the day. And I'd never have to do any cleaning.

5) Places I have lived:
Wolverhampton, Sheffield and then Roehampton, Fulham, Colliers Wood and Mitcham in London.

6) Jobs I have had:
Worked in a shop that sold cheap jewellery, ornaments, jokes and fancy dress.
Packed frozen chips on night shift
Packed surgical examination kits
Assembled garden taps
Worked in Woolies (this lasted about 2 weeks)
Graduate Trainee at the department for Education
Corporate Finance researcher

7) Peeps I want to know more about:
Roobeedoo, Bryony, Delle

Monday, May 26, 2008


It seems a wet bank holiday weekend with no real plans means a case of "Finishitis" has taken hold.
First up - Stashbuster Spirals in a combination of Yarn Yard and Lorna's laces.
stashbuster spirals 004
You can definitely see lines where I changed yarn, but this may even out when worn. I would try, but they are too small for me!
Next, my first sewn garment made for me! This is a Simplicity pattern, number 4589.
Mainly a product of my sewing class, however I did spend yesterday putting the sleeves in all by myself. I hope my teacher is proud!
Blue Flower Top
What's more, it fits and is really comfortable. I may make more if I can find some more cute prints for the summer.
Next up is another sock - this is called Summer Chevron until I come up with something better.
Summer Chevron SocksSummer Chevron Socks
I wanted a lacy chevron pattern to go with this self-striping Online Supersocke I bought in Toronto last September. I thought that theyarn was so summery that it needed some yarn overs! I looked in my Jan Eaton Ripple Pattern book and came up with this. What do you think?
I've saved the best until last.... my Swallowtail shawl is finished and blocking as we speak.
swallowtail 010

Made in Posh yarn Eva 2ply laceweight. I'll save more photos for when it is dry and I can do it justice!
Now, what to cast on next.... hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And the winner is....


Comment number 3 - Roobeedoo
Congratulations Ruth! I'll drop you a line to see if you want the Jitterbug or Natural Dye Studio.
Thank you to everyone who commented (and wished me happy birthday), I certainly have a full reading list for the summer. I've started on "The Line of Beauty" by Alan Holinghurst which I got from the library last week. I've also ordered The Time Travellers Wife with my birthday money from my Mom and Dad.
I'll be back soon with photos I promise, completed stashbuster spirals, a new chevron sock design and a nearly finished Swallowtail shawl.

Monday, May 19, 2008

UK Swap Questionnaire - Round 2

Being one of the hosts I guess I should be one of the first to post this. Want to join us for a UK based knitting/crochet swap? Then sign ups are open now. Go to the UK Swap blog for more info

One: Crafting
Do you knit, crochet, or both?
Both, I tend to knit more than I crochet but I enjoy both.
What do you like to make?
Socks, socks and more socks! I am a little obsessed. When not knitting socks I am usually making something for one of the small children I know. I've crocheted quite a few baby blankets in recent years, and will be making more this summer as there are 4 babies due to friends in October! My aim this year was to knit more for me and finish a cardigan/jumper... I'm not there yet, but I have started the cardigan.
I am also on my second lace scarf/shawl.. which I really enjoy as long as I have time to concentrate
Do you have a favourite project?
The project I am most proud of is my Swan Lake Mystery Stole
The items I wear the most are my Jaywalkers and my soon to be favourite will be my Speedway socks
Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
Um, I like wool, but wool that isn't too itchy (like merino). I guess my favourite is probably Malabrigo, which I made my Mystery Stole from and I'm using for my Mr Greenjeans Cardigan.
As far as sock yarns go, I love Yarn Yard sock yarn and Lorna's Laces. In fact anything machine washable is good in my book.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
Squeaky acrylic or novelty yarn. I am a bit of a yarn snob!
Do you do any other crafts?
I have a sewing machine that I'm slowly learning to use. I go to dressmaking classes every Wednesday.
Do you knit in public? If so where do you like knitting and what is your "portable" project?
Yes, on the train mostly but sometimes in the square at lunchtime or in a pub with my knitting group. My portable project is nearly always socks, but sometimes blanket squares.
What do you carry your "portable" knitting in? I have an assortment of little sewn project bags.
Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over? I would love to get the Barbara Walker Treasuries, I think these will be on my Christmas wish list. At the moment I have to go to the reference library and they only have book 2!
As for yarn, probably any sock yarn. I am trying to only buy solid or semi solid colourways but am still attracted by the bright stripes of Regia and I want to try the new Noro Sock Yarn.

Part Two: Your Favourites
What is your favourite colour?
Purple. Any shade. Or anything stripy. I seem to have a thing for yellow at the moment too.
What is your least favourite colour?
Anything too boring, like beige or pastels.
What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
I like lavender, but I'm not really big on powerful smelling things. My favourite perfume is Flowers by Kenzo if that helps.
How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
I love a pedicure, but that doesn't happen very often (although it should now summer is coming). I have some fab lush handcream at work.
What goodies to you like to eat? (chocolate, biscuits, sweets,crisps etc)
I'm on a diet so I'm trying not to eat "bad things" but my fave chocolate is Green & Blacks, Malteasers or Crunchie.
Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind?
Tea, peppermint or rooibos.
Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts, audiobooks)
I've just started listening to audiobooks, the current one is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I've got from the library. I listen to podcasts too, Cast on, Lixie Knits it and Miss Flip Knits.

Part Three: About you, Living & Past-times
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?
Nothing too exotic. Maybe some British sock yarn... although I'd have some nice regular, orderly stripes.
Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
Grew up here, went to Sheffield for Uni and lived in London for a few years until I came home.
What is your favourite place in the UK?
The Lake District
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Exploring the Highlands of Scotland or the Canadian Rockies.
What other hobbies do you have?
I'm a long suffering Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder. Say no more!

Part Four: The Theme
As part of this swap we are asking you to post (or link to) a picture or photograph you like. Your swap pal will use the photo as a basis for a themed item or parcel.
Utrecht - Dick Bruna's House
This is me in the Dick Bruna house in Utrecht. I love Miffy and I love the bright primary colours of the books on the walls. (Even though there is no purple!)

Final Part:

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
I love getting to know my swap partner and trying to guess who they are so I'll probably be hassling for clues from Day 1!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Running Kites

It's my birthday on Sunday, so time to roll out a birthday competition.
However, I'm going to stray away from knitting for this one.
This week I have read a book. Not really that amazing you might say, but I realised it is only the second book I've read all year. I used to devour at least one book a week when I lived in London. I started knitting on the way to work because I was buying far too many books (the library was never open when I was home). Then I moved house and the library was next door and I went a bit more often. Since I moved back to Wolverhampton I've hardly read anything, too busy knitting on the train and the bus. I've been to Central Library in Brum a few times, but never found my way to the fiction section. On Monday "The Kite Runner" practically jumped off the shelf into my hand. It's a book I've wanted to read for ages, it was on 7 day loan, so I knew I had to start straight away. I finished it at lunchtime today. I cried on the bus this morning reading it, I stayed up far far far too late last night reading it. So, if you haven't read it, I thoroughly recommend it.
So now to the competition... That book has put me right back in reading mood. What should I read next? The only other book I've read this year is "On Chesil beach" Ian McEwan. My book reading list at the moment consists of only "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.
Now for a prize, I'll stick to knitting for this one.
You can choose from either 2 skeins of Natural Dye Studio Merino sock wool.
sock yarn 015
Or a Skein of Colinette Jitterbug in Gaugin
jitterbug 001
Leave me a comment on this post and tell me what books you've enjoyed recently and what you think is should read next. I'll put all the commenters in a hat and draw out a winner next Wednesday at about 9.30pm.

I'm pimping the swap

As I announced in my last post Delle and I are hosting a UK based Knitter’s Swap from June-September. Sign-ups begin on May 19th, 2008 and close on June 2nd. All the details you could possibly want are on the UK Swap Blog

We are running a "Pimp the Swap" competition to kick off and you will be entered in the draw for a fabulous yarny prize if you do one of the following:
  1. Posting a message on your blog (make sure to leave a comment on the UK Swap Blog telling us you did so!)
  2. Having other people comment on the UK Swap Blog that they found out about the Swap from your blog/website. (One extra entry for every person that says you sent them).
Note: Hosts will not be entered into the contest, but don’t let that deter you from telling us where you found out about the swap!

The Prize?
One skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in colourway January One.
str 004
Now, go forth my yarny-friends and PIMP THE SWAP!

P.S. Contest begins today (Wednesday 14th May) and ends Monday 2nd June at midnight! (When sign ups close). The winner of the Pimp the Swap contest will be announced before matches go out in the second week of June.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sunny Holiday

A fabulous time was had in our beautiful little cottage on Exmoor. We had gorgeous sunny weather for virtually the whole week. Lots of walking and wildlife spotting. We went to the sea, to the moors, for cream teas, duck racing,and, of course, to the pub! We even had the first BBQ of the year and sat outside until the sun went down. Glorious.


I managed a little knitting whilst away... No swallowtail progress, but I did finish my Speedway Socks:
speedway 007 speedway 008
Pattern: Speedway Socks by Anni Design
Yarn: Regia Kaffe Fassett in Landscape Fire (4259)
Needles: 2.5mm
Started:17th April
Finished: 4th May
Comments: A fabulous alternative to the jaywalker, gives a very similar pattern, but it is STRETCHY! Horay. I love these, I even took the time to make them match perfectly. My new favourite socks.
I started my Stashbuster spirals too... spot the deliberate mistakes made whilst watching films!
stashbuster spiral 001
Unfortunately for some unfathomable reason I've make this one far too small for me so I think they will have to be a present for someone with smaller feet (I can think of two people who fit into this category but I'm not sure if either of them will like them! Fi? Kerry?)

And now for the exciting UK Swap news I promised in my previous post; Delle (my downstream swap parter) and I are co-hosting the next round of the UK Swap. We are waiting for final confirmation that all of the parcels from the last round have been received and then we will be announcing sign up dates and the swap theme(s). Come and join our Ravelry Group for more info. This will be my first time hosting a swap and I'm really looking forward to it... :0)