Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Letter G

There is no knitting to report - I've trapped a nerve in my neck and can't knit or crochet - so when I saw this post over at Natalie's blog, I thought it was perfect to get me back blogging.

The idea is that you ask in the comments for a letter and one is sent to you at random. You then blog about ten things you love beginning with that letter.

Natalie sent me the wonderfully curvy letter G

1. Goals
Football is an important part of my life. I've been a season ticket holder at Wolverhampton Wanderers for most of the last 15 years. This year I've seen lots of goals, and we are riding high at the top of the division. Fingers crossed we are still there at the end of the season. Goals make me happy :o)

2. Gardens and Gardening
I love having a garden. We now have lots of green grass where there was once mud and borders to plant in the spring. I am itching to get started.

3. Greenhouse

veg garden 004
My greenhouse was a gift from our next door neighbour. It was her husbands retirement present from work in the early 1980's. It had been sitting doing nothing on the other side of the fence for about 15 years since he died. I am very happy to give it a new lease of life. Last year it supplied me with tomatoes, chillis and cucumbers - the chilli plants are overwintering in there at the moment - although I'm not sure how well they are doing, as it has been as low as -11 degrees in there according to the thermometer. Hmm.

4. Games
I love games, especially board games. Risk is a favourite but it is very hard to find who like to play! Tony refuses to play virtually anything except Mr & Mrs, which causes very amusing arguments. We played sardines on my 30th birthday - and lost my friend Kerry for what seemed like hours.

5. Gowns
I am in a quandry over gowns at the moment - I had my heart set on making my wedding dress, but I tried on the most magical dress with my bridesmaids at the weekend. It made me very happy and I think I may have to buy it.

6. Geography
I loved my Geography A level and I did a Geography degree at Sheffield university. Unfortunately I don't get to use much of it on a day to day basis - but I can still point out a good glacial feature like a Roche Moutonne or a Drumlin when we go to the Lake District!

7. Gloves
I haven't knit any yet, but I really want to.

8. Gnomes
Tomos and Denzel, they have to make you smile.
Sion Corn (Tomos) - Christmas GnomeDenzel the Christmas Gnome
9. Goldfish
Just after university I bought my friend Cath two goldfish for her birthday. She called them Ruth & Cath. Ruth died, and then Cath was left with a goldfish called Cath - which made her seem particularly egocentric! It still makes me laugh to think of her explaining the whole story to anyone who wanted to know what her fish was called.
10. Groom
My groom-to-be is wonderful and I love him very much :o)

If you would like a letter, let me know in the comments and I'll send one over!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

February Lady Sweater

Guess what? I have finally managed to make a garment that actually fits me! Wanna see?
FLS Finished 001
Pattern: February Lady Sweater
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Cuarzo - 5 skeins
Needles: 5mm
Started: 29th September 2008
Finished: 15th January 2009
Comments: It fits! I am still a little shocked about that, depsite the fact I could try on as I went. I love it :o) Everyone at the Posh meet up yesterday loved it too - which made me very excited.
A great pattern, all apart from the maths needed to work out where to put the increases after the yoke. However you can use this great tool to work it all out for you!
The Malabrigo is gorgeous. I know it will pill, but hey you have to pay a price for that softness!
Do you want to see the buttons?
FLS Finished 002
They are from House of Fraser
How about the side?
FLS Finished 003
The back too? Ok, go on then!
FLS Finished 004

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I've been flitting from project to project this week.
I finished the first Oolong sock on Monday. I am in love.

In love with the pattern - so stretchy, so lovely and so easy to remember. I am most certainly in love with the yarn- Hazel Knits Artisan Sock from Socktopus. Beautiful colour, sproigy, not too heavy. Gorgeous. I haven't cast on for number two yet, I'm saving that pleasure until I have finished a few other (more urgent) WIPs.
Like the current baby blanket:

I've got most of the middles done. I spent last Sunday working out combinations and permutations for my hexagon. I knew my A-Level maths would come in useful at some point!
I've also started on my UK Swap Winter Warmers project, Wickery by Woolly Wormhead.

In Pure Wool Aran. This is knit on smaller needles to get gauge, so the cables are a bit tough on my hands, but it is a great commuting project.
P.S. Don't forget you still have 5 days to enter the draw to win blogiversary prizes. If you can't afford to donate at the moment, but would like one of the books. Please leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do :o)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Warming you knees

This week UK Swap inspiration topic is warming your knees.
Blankets are something I know quite a bit about, but only crochet ones !
Here are my blankets...
Most have been gifted as baby blankets, the last one is the current WIP for a baby boy due in a couple of days.
Only the Noro Hexagon blanket is for me (first picture). This does a wonderful job of keeping my knees warm! However it is nowhere near finished. I have about another 5 or 6 balls to use up and hundreds of ends to sew in. It doesn't stop me snuggling under it on the sofa however.
If you are thinking about making a crochet blanket, then I recommend getting your hands on 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton - this is the book that gave me the blanket buzz!

I haven't knit any blankets yet, I do love the Alphabet Blanket by Debbie Bliss, but this is definitely a baby gift. If I was to knit something I can see the Hemlock Ring featuring high on the list. This would have to be knit in something a little thicker than the 4ply Cashsoft or DB Baby Cashmerino that most of the other blankets have been crocheted in!

Friday, January 02, 2009

My Third Blogiversary (and a raffle)

I really can't believe it is 3 years since I started this blog. How time flies.
In that time I've moved house, got engaged and met lots and lots of wonderful fellow knitters. Thank you to each and everyone of you who have read or commented on my blog.

For my 3rd Blogiversary I'm having a raffle with proceeds going to MSF
If you would like the chance to win one of the books or the skein of Colinette below then what you have to do is donate (in the spirit of P/HOP - pennies per hour of pleasure) to MSF - click on the widget below (or the one in the side bar) and then leave me a message in the comments to tell me you've donated. Entries close and I will draw the raffle 2 weeks from today at 8pm on Friday 16th January.

The books are:
Couture Knits by Jean Moss - Ravelry Link
Under Cover, 60 afghans to knit and crochet - Ravelry Link
Baby Knitting Two by Vogue Knitting
Bags & Backpacks by Vogue Knitting
Felting by Vogue Knitting
Quick Gifts by Vogue Knitting

Colinette Jitterbug in Gaugin
There is a separate story behind both of these prizes, so settle down and I'll tell all.
The Books
Way back in September I went to I Knit day in London. A few weeks later one of the members of my local knitting group emailed me to tell me she'd seen a photo of me at the I Knit day in a copy of "Knitting" magazine. I made my way to borders that lunch time and went hunting for the photo. She was right, there I was getting my book signed by the Yarn Harlot! On closer inspection I realised that the photo looked awfully familiar; I was sure it was the same photo I'd posted on my blog and Flickr. I bought the magazine so I could compare the two photos. Of course it was the same photo and at this point I got annoyed. No one from the magazine had emailed me or tried to contact me to use the photo, they had taken it without permission. Who is to say that I was happy with my photo being in print? I certainly wasn't happy that they had used the photo without my permission. I emailed the editor and politely asked where they had got the photo from and her response indicated it was from Flickr and they were sorry they overlooked the copyright.
I consulted with a few people and decided to send them an invoice for £50 for the use of the picture.... I didn't really want the money. I wanted them to take seriously the fact that they had breached copyright and to confirm that they wouldn't be doing it again.
Here is the response I got from the magazine editor:
"I must admit that I was a little disappointed to receive your invoice for the use of a picture which was clearly a mistake. It was not used as the main picture to illustrate a feature, it was, as I am sure you are aware used as more of a snap to accompany an interview. £50 would be the average cost of a hi-res picture from one of the commercial image banks such as Getty or Corbis, so I am sure you will agree there is a difference of standard here.
For this reason I will be happy to offer you £10 as a final payment plus a selection of Knitting books from our catalogue, which in total will amount to £50. I hope you will find this acceptable"
I decided to accept the offer, but re-iterated to them that it wasn't about the money, it was the issue of copyright. I hope they have learnt a lesson. To be honest, if they had emailed me to ask to use the photo I probably would have said yes, and then they could have had a high-res image rather than a "snap"!
I had been thinking about how to make something good come of all this and in the spirit of the Yarn Harlot and Natalie from the Yarn Yard and those in the Shed who have helped me decide how to respond to the editor I decided to raffle off the books with proceeds going to MSF. I have also donated the £10 they sent me to P/HOP.

The Yarn
In November Roobeedoo knitted her first pair of toe-up socks in a skein of Jitterbug that I had sent to her. Unfortunately the skein had a knot in it and the yarn after the knot was obviously not from the same "dyelot". She ended up with 1.5 socks that striped beautifully and then a messy pooling pattern on the leg of the second sock. I emailed Colinette to complain, and to my surprise they offered to send a replacement skein of yarn! Roo has decided that she doesn't want it (I can't blame her really) so I've decided to raffle this as well.... and I am praying that it doesn't have any knots!