Monday, June 22, 2009

A garden update

A combination of new plants and a new camera meant I have a garden update to share with you.
Chocolate Cosmos, purchased from a local nursery. I love the colour, and it really does smell like chocolate!
Chocolate Cosmos

The lovely people from the Yarn Yard group on Ravelry have helped me work out this is an Aqueligia (Columbine) . Aren't those colours stunning together?
Unknown flower

The Hollyhock that Tony's mum gave me last year has now turned into a triffid! It is now much higher than the 6 foot fence. This photo was taken last weekend, since then it has turned into a riot of flowers!
Giant Hollyhock

Hollyhock flowers
Giant Hollyhock

Lastly, the mushroom log I got for Christmas has started producing. Here are my Shitake Mushrooms - We'll be having them for dinner this evening....
Shitake Mushrooms

Friday, June 19, 2009

Race for Life

On Thursday 18th June 2009 I did something I've never done before. I ran 5km without stopping.
This is something I couldn't of dreamed of this time last year when I was nearly 4 stone heavier. Thanks to Weight Watchers and some determination I did it and I am very, very proud of myself.
Race for Life 18th June 2009
I am also very very proud of the other ladies in Wolverhampton (and those all across the country) who have taken part in the Race for Life. I was near enough prepared for the running.
I was not prepared for the emotion of the evening and the heartwrenching messages written on almost everyone's backs. I was holding back the tears for much of the evening. I spent quite a lot of the run behind a lady who had the names and pictures of two of her friends on her back who had not made it... and then underneath was written "and me".

So, if you can spare any money at all. Please sponsor me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Wedding Shawl

This has been a labour of love over the last few months. I spent all weekend at Skip North in March being particularly annoyingly undecided about what to make for my wedding. I bought some Zephyr Laceweight yarn from the Knitting and Crochet guild in the white ivory colourway as this was the best match to the tiny swatch of satin I'd carefully matched to my dress.

Spring Knitty was published around the same time and I fell head over heals in love with the Aeolian Shawl. All my thoughts of wanting a shrug went out of the window when I saw this. It was going to be "My Wedding Shawl".

I swatched and swatched some more, and got more yarn (Posh Yarn Charlotte 2 ply - ended up being too cream) and finally cast on.

I decided to increase the number of Yucca repeats to 6 and to do one full Agave chart before the final agave to give me a size in between the shoulderette and the big shawl.
As you can see, it is plenty big enough!

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

Laid out in all its glory.

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

Hanging with a bridesmaid dress

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

It drapes beautifully around my shoulders, and the heaviness of the beads instead of nupps in the edging makes it stay in place.

The facts:
Started: 30th March 2009
Finished: 18th July 1009
Pattern: Aeolian Shawl
Yarn: Fiddlesticks Jaggerspun Laceweight
Needles: 3.25mm addi turbos
Beads: The beads are size 6 seed beads along with larger faceted guttermann beads which replaced the nupps on the edging.
Comments: I can't really say anything. The pattern is fabulous, the KAL group on Ravelry was fabulous. The shawl is perfect. I love it... and I am going to be so proud to wear it on the 11th July.

It's Blocking....

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

Monday, June 15, 2009

A finished shawl and a new wheel

I finally finished the endless Aeolian cast off this evening...
Aeolian Wedding Shawl
I will block this later in the week - at the moment I am loving the ruffles on the edging! Finished, with 25 days left to go - what is going on?

In other news, the Ashford Kiwi has now left the house, and has been replaced by this:
My new wheel
An Edammertje, on loan from Rachel. Tony assembled it last night and with a little TLC got it working this evening. It is quite different to the Kiwi - harder to treddle and bobbin lead - but I'll get used to it!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

We now have a dress....

Yes! The bodice of the bridesmaid dress now has a very "pouffy" skirt!

Bridesmaid Dress for Carys

I've sewn the many layers of overskirt/skirt/lining/netting and put it together with the bodice with only a few mishaps and not that many swear words.

Bridesmaid Dress for Carys

What you can't really see in the photos above is the lovely shimmery organza overskirt or how the net makes this a perfect "little girls" dress. I put the zip in with the help of my sewing teacher last night. All I have to do now is overlock the raw edges, slip stitch the lining of the bodice and hem the skirt to the right length.

It has turned out exactly like I wanted it to and I am pretty sure Carys will love it just as much as I do. Yipeeee. It must be dress day today, as I'm off for my dress fitting in about an hour.... eeek. Fingers crossed it fits!

P.s For anyone who wants to know the dress is D from Simplicity 3943

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

An Afghan for p/hop

P/hop is a fundraising knitting project for the humanitarian medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres. Over the coming months, several generous designers will be donating free knitting patterns to the MSF p/hop project. These patterns will be available to download on the p/hop blog and on other knitting blogs and websites such as Ravelry.
P/hop stands for pennies per hour of pleasure.
The idea of p/hop is to donate based on how many hours of pleasure you got from knitting your free pattern. There is no set price for a pattern; you can donate 50p or £50. It’s entirely up to you!

As an extension of the p/hop ethos Cybil had the idea of putting together a UK version of the Barn Raising Quilt (featured in the book Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together). The pattern is currently being made available for free by the authors, Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown, to raise money for MSF USA.

The completed blanket(s) will be raffled at the iknit weekender on the 11th and 12th of September and all money raised will go p/hop.

If you would like to be a part of this project and contribute a square or two click here. This link will take you to the Knitalong news page. A PDF version of the pattern can be found at the bottom of the page by clicking on “this document”.

Squares need to be made in sock yarn, you need approx 16g of yarn. They are knit on 2.75mm needles (or to a gauge of 7 - 7.5 stitches per inch). We are looking for completed squares that are blocked to 7.5 inches.
Please label the completed square(s) with your name, the name of the yarn (if you know) and whether it is machine washable or not - we are hoping to complete one blanket with machine washable yarn.
Once completed please message Cybil or me (Rooknits) on Ravelry for an address to send the squares to. Cybil and I will also be collecting squares at the UK Ravelry day in Coventry this Saturday, 6th June. The p/hop guys will also be at Woolfest at the end of June collecting squares.

If you don’t have time to knit a square but have some spare sock yarn you would like to contribute for other knitters to make a square from them please get in touch.
There is a group on Flickr for you to add photos of your knitted squares click here to have a look- (thanks Katie).
If you’re not on Ravelry but would like more information please contact p/hop or leave me a comment.

I was hoping to have some of my finished squares to show you... I've nearly finished number 1:
Barn Raising Square

But look what happened yesterday.... my Knitpicks Harmony circular snapped off at the join. Grrrrrrr.
Broken needle

After I'd been telling everyone how wonderful they were too. Tut.

On top of the World (or maybe just South Wales...)

On Saturday morning I got up very early for our drive to the Brecon Beacons. A team of girls from work were walking the St Basil's Challenge - 15 miles up Corn Du and Pen y Fan.
Maria had come equipt with "Emergency Chocolate"
Emergency Chocolate
We started about 8.45am, and the first part was very pleasant.
It was nice and easy to start with
Then the mountains appeared before us, Pen y Fan on the left and Corn Du on the right.
What We've got to climb
The walk to the top produced some spectacular views - we walked all the way along the ridge.
At the bottom... we can see the lake
The last climb was a bit steep
Up to Corn Du
But we all made it in one piece to the top of Pen y Fan - highest point in South Wales.
At the Top!
Despite the lack of pictures, we all made it back down again too with no injuries and no sunburn. 15 miles in 7.5 hours, and it was fun! Bring on the Cotswolds next year!