Wednesday, 28 February 2007

FO's, NFO's and the sock of DOOM part 5? (plus yarn update)

The Sock of Doom is finished!!! (At least the first one). To recap, I've frogged because the pattern was too simple (and I forget to count); frogged because the darned thing was far too small (that was up to heel 1st time); Frogged because of pattern again, and finally frogged because in my infinite wisdom, I thought the recalculated pattern might make the sock a bit wide around the ankle, switched to what I thought were 2.25mm needles only to find out (past the heel again, of course) they were actually 2mm needles and the width was the same as before the stitch increase! Aaaaaaaaarghhhh!!!!!

So anyway, It's finished. And yes, the foot's still a little snug lengthwise but I'm not ripping it again 'till I've finished the other one! Here it is in it's evil glory...
I have obviously been feeling sorry for myself this week which ended up in a second visit to my LYS! If she had not put out 8 balls of Patons Greta (old discontinued singles yarn- gorgeous!) in a cream ( dyepot heaven!), I might have got away with a single trip. However, I'd also spotted some more Rowan 4 ply packs on a shelf and so I asked (very nicely) if I could see the colours (as they were in a shady corner).

Anyway, it transpires that one pack is the denimy blue I was clearing from the shelves (till someone came along and snatched the last of it!) and the other a gorgeous brown that was also in short supply on the shelves and also craved for. So, on Monday,I bought 10 balls 4ply in midnight, 5 balls of Zanzibar kept for me from the week before and the ubiqitous (god, how DO you spell that?) Filatura de Crosa mohair multi ( she'd found more again!) PLUS, asked her to keep the other pack for me FULLY INTENDING to pick it up the next week. But the wool called to me, there's no other explanation!

Anyhoo, to offset the extra balls (I count 2 skeins of 4 ply as 1 ball as they're 25g)- 20 in total, I've been knitting like fury BIG projects and hit a snag or two. Neither are quite finished yet, they're Nearly Finished Objects (or NFO), but here's where we're at up to now...

The first is Colinette Point 5, various colours, pattern Cerys from the Wayfarer book. Typical convoluted story, I began knitting it a few months ago but couldn't get the tension right, it was the one and only project I have EVER done where my tension was too tight! It's always too loose, so god knows what happened there! I frogged it and waited until I got my 15mm needles back to try again.

So, good girl, I knits a tension swatch- guess what- too loose! So, I knitted a swatch in 12mm, still a bit tight but damn near there, so I knit up a size larger than normal, it said it'd take 10 balls so I used 3 diff colourways to make up the yardage. Thing is, I've got 2 balls left, so I didn't need to add the turquiose stripe at all!
Still, it's all sewn up one side, needed an underarm gusset as big projects often do, and there's just the other side to sew AND A ZIP TO PUT IN! Joy!!!(not).

Typical camera, the real thing's not half as eyepoppingly vibrant, but you get the idea.

The second NFO is a little further from completion. It's a jacket in Sirdar Bigga which as you can see, is fetchingly trimmed in a contrast shade. I had a big ball when I started it a while ago, and kept everything together, but with the passage of time, it's gone west! I found a titchy ball of it and manged to do both fronts and one sleeve but now I have to turn the house upside down to find the wandering ball and finish the darned thing!

Is it just me, or is my life particularly complicated at the moment

Madam's having a bit of a rest after a fun-packed day scrounging food from unsuspecting dog owners and rolling in something unmentionable (don't they all?). It's a dog's life!

So anyway, this was an extra blog 'cos I'm off to visit Anne for the weekend, expect a slew of new photos on my return (providing I remember the camera- and charger!)

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

I'm superhuman!

So, I did the Harry Potter test, I will post it but just not yet, you'll see why when I post it...In the meanwhile...

Your Birthdate: June 5

You have many talents, and you are great at sharing those talents with others.
Most people would be jealous of your clever intellect, but you're just too likeable to elicit jealousy.
Progressive and original, you're usually thinking up cutting edge ideas.
Quick witted and fast thinking, you have difficulty finding new challenges.

Your strength: Your superhuman brainpower

Your weakness: Your susceptibility to boredom

Your power color: Tangerine

Your power symbol: Ace

Your power month: May

Monday, 26 February 2007


You scored as Neville Longbottom. You often feel scared and unsure of yourself as a result of a tough upbringing, but everyone knows you have so much boiling potential in you waiting to burst. You get a strong feeling of elation when you accomplish something and reward yourself for it. You love your friends and family dearly and are a kind and loyal friend to have.

Neville Longbottom


Albus Dumbledore


Luna Lovegood


Bellatrix Lestrange


Ron Weasley


Sirius Black


Hermione Granger


Oliver Wood


Percy Weasley


Harry Potter


Remus Lupin


Severus Snape


Lord Voldemort


Draco Malfoy


Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with

...I said I'd post it, but it still smarts, I don't care how uncannily accurate it is, how close to reality, whatever, and actually, a really nice write-up, but, I mean, NEVILLE BLOODY LONGBOTTOM!!!!


Saturday, 24 February 2007

Pledge Day update

Well, now I've got that huge questionnaire out of the way, I thought the blog was starting to look a bit barren so I thought I'd update you all and post a few piccies.

We celebrated my brother's birthday early today ( he'll be the big four-oh!) by going to Liverpool and having a nosh-up in one of the many Chinese Buffets that are around, on this occasion, the Buffet Star on Hanover Street. We judiciously parked out of centre ( to avoid higher parking fees) and walked in. Of course, the parking just happened to be a few minutes from Abakhan so on our return, I nipped in to see what bargains were to be had.

Well, you'll think I've a halo but I didn't spend a penny! The bargain stuff was all way out colours or what I've already got stashed away, they did have a copy of the Patons Cargo pattern I've temporarily lost the run of, rather manky and tattered but whan I asked how much it was, she said ...a fiver! I was shocked and walked away, I mean, I got that pattern for free from Abakhan Mostyn, it was a total joke. So, hence, virtuous me.

Anyway, I have been spinning today but I've been in the mood for v fine (typical) which isn't exactly aiding in the fleece busting enterprise. Nothing much to show yet so I thought I'd show you my last lot of spinning and dyeing.

The back 3 skeins are the last of Sandie's Ryeland Shearling from ebay a couple of years back. It ended up a rather bizarre mix of peachy-pink and green ( I'd used red and turquoise). I'm still mulling as to what colour to overdye it as to my eyes, it looks a right mess. The front three I'm happier with, they were shropshire cross and actually have Angelina (pink) mixed in here hnd there though the photo doesn't show it so it goes quite well with the pinks lilacs and turquoise.

The end one looks rather strange on the photo but is quite spectacularly mean and moody in the flesh. The three balls are all Coloured Ryeland, again from Sandie. I used my new drumcarder to card the different shades seperately then spun them from dark to light and vice versa so each ball will naturally stripe as you knit. Unfortunately, with what's left, there's not the same range of colour but that's what I'm spinning at the moment, I'll finish that fleece eventually!

Haven't posted a pic of both poochies in a while so I thought you could have this one, Floppy looking his usual ( I'm trying to be obedient) look, whilst Biscuit can't be bothered, typical!

And finally, another picture from the seafront. It's a big circle of people holding hands with the dresses of the ladies picked out in different colours of stone and marble. It seemed particularly appropriate giving that I'll be joining hands with someone somewhere in the world when I participate in SP 10 (and so will loads of other people!). So that's the picture I'll be leaving this blog with today.
Whew, I reckon I've earned a rest for a few days!

Friday, 23 February 2007

MY SP10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love soft fibres, particularly if they are not solid colours, like variegated and handpaints as I love watching the colours change as I knit . I am addicted to a buttery soft Alpaca yarn at the moment. I have no use for hard scratchy fibres but don't mind a bit of acrylic or the likes in with wool fibres, I'm not a fibre snob!

I aspire to American handpaints and stuff I can't easily or reasonably get over here. I can't stand crepe yarns, it doesn't matter if it's the purest softest wool, it just reminds me of cheap acrylic school jumpers from years gone by!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Various organisers, pencil cases etc stuffed into a fabric knitting holder bag thingie (will post a pic for completeness sake)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting on and off since the age of six, I learned the basics from my mum then mostly taught myself the rest like colour knitting and Aran knitting. I would consider myself an advanced knitter but I prefer to vary the difficulty of my projects to save frying my brain too much! I always admire complicated projects, I'm a glutton for punishment!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? and just ask for details.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I have to be very careful of strongly scented candles, soaps and perfumes as they can aggravate my asthma or make me sneeze! I do like gentle scents, not too flowery, more fresh.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Sweet tooth? Do I! I like lots of chocolate but am a bit spoiled as I get a box of Chocolate Tasting Club Chocolates every month so my tastes have shifted away from really cheap chocolate. Hate marzipan and cherries or dried fruit in chocolate (or in any form!).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I've tried most things over the years, some have stuck, others passed by, I also enjoy Cross stitch (but get frustrated with how long it takes to finish anything), Japanese Embroidery (but haven't in a while), Bearmaking (but don't get me started on that topic), Beading, Spinning and Dyeing. Bizarrely, despite spinning for around 2 years on and off, I have only knitted one pair of socks from my spun yarn. I've quite a boxful by now!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have an eclectic taste in music but have to be careful not to have too negative a tune as it can go around and around in my head and bring me down which can be frustrating. No problem playing MP3's or CD's.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I've learned to like a whole lot of colours since I've been buying bargain wools from Abakhan- sometimes because they tend to have less popular or very bright colours. Because of that, I'm not terribly keen on bright yellows and orange on their own but as you can see from my last project, I love that colourway. I would say my favourite colours are blues, greens, autumnal golds and browns, and pinky lilac and purples. Very pale and pastel colours tend to wash me out colourwise.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married, no kids, 2 dogs

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I tend to use a single scarf and don't tend to accessorise, but I have just started getting into knitting Moebius scarves. I tend not to use knitted things as it can get quite nippy with the wind off the Mersey so I wear a fleecy fabric hat that the wind can't go through. I prefer gloves to Mittens as I need all my wits about me walking my naughty dogs! Ditto previous comment re: wind going straight through. I've never worn a poncho and don't aspire to one.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I adored knitting a lacy cardi for my mum for Christmas but bizarrely hated the lacy cardi I knitted for my MIL, the only difference was I had a chart for the first! I mostly knit sweaters and loved knitting my most recent Bolero jacket because of the colour changes, it really cheered me up!

13. What are you knitting right now?

In between struggling through a ludicrously simple Alpaca sock pattern, I'm doing quick knits to tear through the stash- there's more info on my blog.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

It's nice to recieve something you haven't had to sweat blood and tears over yourself. I'm not sure anybody's made me anything yet, how sad is that? I'm always the one knitting for others ( but also myself!)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Different needles for different projects but I steer away from metal needles as much as is possible because they cause me pain. I LOVE slippery palstic needles but the only ones I've managed to get have been second hand old ones and they'll generally break after a project or two. I like LONG straight needles (14" up) because there's more room for your stitches but I'm getting into Addi Turbos 'cos the aluminium being hollow heats up more quickly than a solid metal needle and is less cold in the first place.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes, I have a ball winder and a sort of swift but never use it ( I just do contortions when I wind skeins instead!)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Actually not that old, 3-4 years because around 5 years ago I didn't think I'd ever be able to knit again because of the daily pain I was in that no one could find a cause for. Luckily, a doctor prescribed me some anti-inflammatories a year or so later and now I have a label, Arthritis! I have good and bad days but tend to not let it stop me nowadays.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Are we talking time of year or place to go?Favourite places in this country are Whitby and Porthmadog because they hold lots of happy memories and are special places but I like lots of places and times, basically anywhere new and relatively quiet but with a few shops in easy reach for day to day things.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Yarn and books about yarn! Fleece, aargh!!! ( as I'm drowning in it). Pretty beads, crystals for healing but mostly yarn.

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 love books that are impossible to get hold of unless you've got megabucks ( i.e. Alice Starmore Stillwater, Pacific Coast Highway, In the Hebrides etc. ) but enjoyed tracing what I could from libraries across the breadth of the U.K. I also aspire to all copies of the Barbara Walker Treasuries, I have 2 ( v. expensive over here) and the E.Z's only available in the U.S. Plus I'd love a copy of Annie Modesitt's Knitting Heretic. I buy all copies of Vogue Knitting and most Sandra magazines but don't think much of the patterns in U.K publications (aside from Rowan which I can't afford).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I've taught myself most knitting techniques but I'm always willing to learn more. I'd like to knit fair isle/intarsia more evenly but I've gathered that's more a matter of time than technique. I'd like to do more complex lace knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I'm a U.K. size 5 which is a smaller ladies foot. I will get the tape mesasure to them when I get a chance... I have knitted about 6 pairs of plain socks now and as my blog will attest to, am now branching out into more patterned variations with differeing degrees of success...

23. When is your birthday?
Easy one, 5th June

For Kath and also Oops!

To explain, Kath asked for a pic of my completed Bolero cardi so I duly took appropriate pics, loaded them in in reverse order as usual, then in the waiting period started composing what I was going to say in my head. So, I'm mulling over what I want to type, thinking about going to the Chinese buffet tomorrow to celebrate my brother's forthcoming birthday and hit me, I still hadn't bought a card! So, race out, find a small but perfectly formed card in WHSmiths, pick up a shedload of chocolate ( because it's been one of those weeks and I haven't done a choc run during any or it), then it's back to the computer to post my blog. Still stressful though!

So why the rambling introduction? Well, a) it's been a hard week and b) Smarties have given up with all their " no artificial flavours" rubbish so the blue ones are back, yaaay!

And, no I've never grown up and I don't intend to now!

So anyway, now I can get onto the stuff I was trying to do in the first place, namely, piccies! The first is once again, hot off the needles, my latest Moebius Scarf ( modelled carefully by my Daleky friend). It's made from pure cashmere yarn and alternated in places with a slightly different shaded 70% angora yarn. I've tried it on and it sort of drapes over each shoulder a bit like a wide yoke and as you'd expect it's lovely and warm. So not my usual colours, in fact, beigey shades normally wash me out but I actually think it suits me this time so maybe it'll avoid the dyepot!

At least I'm now two ahead on the Knitting group.

To explain, since I've been going to my local group on a Tuesday night, I had a fair amount of sweaters knitted up so I wore a different one every week and by the time I'd got through my oldies, I'd already knitted a new sweater or two and so the tradition continued for many months. Obviously, if the sweater was complicated and took a while, I had to repeat a showing of a previous jumper every once in a while and particularly over Christmas when I was knitting for others.

However, since Christmas, I've worn the Sirdar Yoyo long bolero, the Patons cargo zip-up, the Patons Splash sleeveless top, my first Moebius and Cheesylove! Now I'm two up as I can wear the Wendy Fusion next week and the moebius the week after and I've got a week and a half to create something else!

So anyway, as requested, here is the aforementioned cardi in all it's glory. Sorry I'm not wearing it but I did try photographing myself in the mirror (despite the fact we really haven't one big enough) and it was an unmitigated disaster! Anyway, you'll get to see it on me on Tuesday!

The Sock of doom starts to look like a sock, lousy pic, I told ya it'd clash! Anyway, there's enough to see we're past the heel and on the foot ( just about) so maybe I'll do some more of that this evening.

I'm still mulling next project, I need to straighten that one out. Perhaps because I've already done most of the back in the Sirdar Bigga, I'll do that over the weekend then come to a decision.
Anyway, as things have been a little trying this week and I've not been coping terribly well (I hate being under pressure with anything!), I thought I'd post a photo from our last Holiday to remind me of nicer times. Despite looking sunnily gorgeous, that was actually late October last year! We're looking across the harbour towards Whitby Abbey which you can see on the hill (just about, right hand side) with all the higgledy piggledy cottages tumbling over themselves in the foreground. At least when I scan this on my blog and find the odd spelling mistake that I forgot to fix, it'll give me a smile!

UPDATE: Some time ago, I decided Blogger hated me, well, it still does. BUT if I log in under, I get the sign in screen straight away and then it's plain sailing. I still can't access any of the tutorials from the main screen or learn anything new BUT at least I can post whenever I want (which is nice).
If I ever work outhow to get Flickr organised, I might just post a pic of all the jumpers I've knitted to date (that I still have) HINT HINT?

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Goth Bride is out!!!

Okay, this is an inbetween mini post, so I'm not really counting but I remembered that I have also listed on ebay (tick another box- not that I'm checking!)aaand..
GOTH BRIDE IS OUT!!! and available to anyone who's purchased Domiknitrix.

Now, I know it's going to sound like a little bit of a gripe, but I ADORED Elfin Goth. I know full well I'd have been tearing my hair out at regular opportunities knitting it, but, hey, it was definitely something to aspire to, and we've all got to wish, haven't we?

I love Goth bride but she's crucially missed out the lace patterning on the panels to make it easier to follow and I HAVE TO HAVE IT AS COMPLICATED AS POSSIBLE!!!!! Am I a masochist or what? Maybe once I've got a bit of head space and probably after Woolfest, I'll have a go, then I'll really be able to comment as to whether I can cope with anything more demanding! 'Till then, I can just dream.......

Oh yeah, and I've cashed in one of my free cards and I'm knitting another Moebius, tried a bit of spinning and I'm so not in the mood so I'll shelve it 'till tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Better late then never + pledge day 7 ( or is it 8?)

Ooh, I just read on another britknitters blog re: SP 10 (secret pals), I've read about them for a while and now I think I'd like to take the plunge and step outside my comfort zone a bit. Thing is, I need to get my posts up to 10 as a newbie so I'll be posting a little more regularly so that I can get to my quota before the cut off date which is 28th Feb (hence better late than never- it'll probably be by the skin of my teeth!)

Anyway, on to more serious? matters. In the past 7 days, I have
1) Completed My wendy Saffron Sweater, I'm wearing it now but can't post a pic as himself's not around to take it but it'll be up shortly. In doing so I also

2) Completed my half day sewing up this week. It was sort of cheating because I still haven't tackled the ufo pile BUT that's not for want of trying. This evening I have mostly been searching for Sirdar Denim Ultra in the right colour to finish sewing up a tie front cardi (unsucessful); searching out yarn for my next quick project (was sidetracked a little winding some pure cashmere yarn from a fiddly little skein onto my ballwinder) which was sucessful; then hunting out pattern for aforementioned next project which had unforunately gone walkies so not so good!

Additionally, I unintentionally ended up tidying the front room a little (which is always a good thing) and reorganising my stash so I have yarn for the 3 next projects. Whether this will actually happen is in the lap of the gods, of course, the last time I drew up a (quite expansive) list after Christmas and stashed all relevant yarns in a corner, I only ended up knitting about half of it before getting fed up with the quantity of it all!

3) Only visited my LYS once so far this week- on the buying versus knitting ratio I bought 5 balls Patons Zanzibar, 2 more Filatura de Crosa Mohair Multi (I just love that yarn but my house is crammed with mohair 'cos I've never knitted any of it yet aside from my Multistrand Rug- I'll get round to taking a pic of that eventually!) My Saffron Bolero Cardi took 8 and a half balls so I've actually REDUCED my stash this week! (Albeit by a ball and a half!).

NO spinning so far but that's planned for tomorrow or Friday so it's all working out rather nicely PLUS I've got past the heel on my Alpaca sock yarn, I've tried it on again and whilst it's still a bit of a drag past the heel, I reckon it's livable. I'll just have to decide whether to stick with the 2.5mm needles throughout on the second sock or if it'll look vastly different.

On the same note, I'm wondering whether I'm due my Fyberspates sock yarn this month - on her blog, she said they'd be out by last Friday but I've had nothing yet. I do hope it's not lost in the post!

So, I've a choice as to what goes on the needles next- Cerys, a zip-up cardi in Colinette point 5 (did I mention I hate zip fitting worst of all?); a zip up cardi in Sirdar Bigga, colour Cranberry (ditto previous comment); something in Patons Splash- I've at least ten patterns for it but not long since knitted a sleeveless top in another colourway so need to get enthused; a holey pattern shawl thingie in Patons Cargo (the pattern I can't find) as I hate sewing it up and this pattern doesn't require any sewing; and finally, Little Red Riding Hoodie from Domiknitrix (but I'm scared in case I have to do lots of maths to fit the pattern round me). All in all, nothing particularly grabs me (apart from the one I can't find the pattern for!), so, any suggestions, votes, comments?

I guess I'm feeling pretty virtuous to have stuck to my plan this week, we'll have to wait and see how much life gets in the way next week (unless I become a hermit and never leave the house!).

Hopefully, some piccies to break up my waffling tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

New pledge day????

Okay, so I don't normally post this frequently, but I had to share my latest pics, literally taken moments ago. SO far in my pledge, I've spent an unpleasant 3 hours stitching up a Patons Cargo jacket/coat. (now I remember why I hate knitting it- the sewing up afterwards!), restarted the seductive sock and in my speed knitting quest, have got so far with this...
It's a fabulous colourway " saffron" in Wendy Fusion. Now, I know it's the same price as Twilley's freedom Spirit and that's pure wool, but for colour, Wendy Fusion beats it hands down despite being 50% wool, 50% acrylic.

It borders on chunky so fits in with the quick knit category ( I mean, 2 fronts in 2 pieces each plus a back finished today and onto the first sleeve ( far left of pic) in...ermmm...3 days?) Maybe less. Plus the colours arr a joy to knit up. Less of a joy was having to detach the right hand side cable and bobble pattern from the rest of that side'cos HALFWAY DOWN, ONE ERRANT CABLE POINTED THE WRONG WAY!

I've tweaked the original pattern 'cos it bugged me that both cables went in the same direction and there's a little decrease shaping on the back panel to break upthe solid colour changes ( not it's best look). I am SO in love with this yarn at the mo, can't you tell?

It's still got a big wide rib border to go all the way rouns the front but you'll be the first to see when it's finished!

Anyway, seductive sock a la gorgeous alpaca, pig of a pattern is growing again. The more observant amongst you will notice the travelling lines don't twist around quite so fiercely than the original model, it's amazing what an extra stitch here and there will do. I started on 2.5mm needles but felt it a bit loose (there's an extra 7 stitches on the existing pattern) so after a few inches, I've swapped to 2.25mm hence it's a bit wider at the top. I can always say I planned it this way so it's comfy around my calf!
Anyway, so far, 3 minor froggings ( I'm resigned to it now!), and we'll be at the heel in the next inch or so then I have to decide whether I keep the pattern on the top (have to work that out) or just have plain stocking stitch all the way to the foot (boring).

By the way, nice sock Anne, was that with the original Regia pattern? Sorry for the interesting backing to the pic, but the quilt cover's red and I was thinking of everyone's eyes (clash city!).

Anyway, ages back, I said I'd be reviewing my fave books so I shall start as I mean to go on with my most recent acquisition- Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel . Actually purchased from Book Depository as they try to be cheaper than Amazon and there's always free postage so no need to get to that nasty £15 limit if you only want a single book, handy to know!

Anyway, I digress. Domiknitrix rated it highly in her blog, she'd been to a show and seen a number of the designs in the book there and was impressed so I bought it on the strength of her recommendation. (By the way, her book's fab too, a real breath of fresh air and something for 20's-30's (age) knitters to get their teeth into). So, anyway, it arrived this morning and, well, it's a mixed bag. Don't get me wrong, I think the ideas are great, particularly for us less-than-svelte types who knit up garments photographed on stick thin models then wonder why it makes them look like a sack of potatoes. I'm definitely coming round to the way of shaping but these things often make assumptions about shape and this book in particular likes to emphasise the waist with a band of reverse stocking stitch either side, fine if you're perfect shape but some of us want to disguise our excesses!

It does have some interesting ideas, and if you're not afraid to do a bit of pattern modifying (minor), as I no doubt will, you should have some great fitted garments. A+ however for her use of Superchunky yarn, the bane of non-model types; she ses it in a fitted, cropped cardi type thing, open at the front, lovely bell sleeves with shaping detail that (I think) most people could get away with simply because it DOESN'T encompass you and make you look bigger than ever. There's also a lovely sweater with a mass of rib to fit round the waist and flare around the bust, plenty of sleeveless top/vest thingies and masses of ideas as well as some MATHS in the front as to how you calculate your own sweater ( I passed that by!). So, all in all, for me, a keeper, one to tinker with but definitely to knit a pattern or three.

On the subject of Domiknitrix ( book of the same name), I ADORE her designs, BUT my bust size makes me a small whilst my waist and hip make me a large on her sizing scales so again, I'm going to have to make adjustments (I'm a classic pear), but I do see Little Red Riding Hoodie in my near future!

Thursday, 15 February 2007


After all that hinting at himself's Valentine prezzie (and another reason I got behind with cheesylove) here they are in the flesh (so to speak).

They're driving mitts, so longer than usual fingerless mitts (so he can wrap his 'ickle handies 'round the cold steering wheel and not feel it) and he actually had them on Saturday (hot off the needles!) 'cos the weather was so cold and he refused to wear gloves taking the poochies 'round the park. So now, no excuses! They're in a stretchy rib, just like my new jumper so I guess we're kind of twinnies!

After reconsidering the yarn embargo, I've decided to use a little common sense (!) in the short term. So I'll try to only replace what I knit and visit my LYS only once a week to keep the budget a little less stretched. Still got to define replace, of course, it could be by weight, (in which case the recent Kidsilk haze binge will have made nary a dint), or by original cost ( but then how would you categorise Abakhan bargains?)

I will, however put an embargo on buying AFTER Woolfest, and perhaps If I'm feeling brave, I might even try a 6-12 month knit from your stash THEN ( better late than never!) Floppy's not too sure how well this'll work!

In addition, I really need to give away, spin or chuck at least 3 fleeces from my back room BEFORE Woolfest so that I have any space at all to put new stuff.

So, with that in mind,

1)I pledge to devote at least one day a week to pure spinning, no interruptions, leave sexy sock wool to travelling and spare moments and another half-day to finishing all my UFO sewing up sweaters (which I hate!)

2)I will list items on EBAy every month until Woolfest (and actually bank most of the proceeds rather than instantly recycling them!)

3) I will choose simple, quick knitting projects in big wools in order to reduce the VOLUME of my stash

4) I have three freebie cards if I suddenly decide to go off into flights of fancy (a la moebius, socks, lace, fair isle etc.) providing they're finishable in a day or so or only take up a couple of hours each day

phew, what a list! At least I know I've got my fellow bloggers to keep me on the straight and narrow. Guess I'd better get sewing up this afternoon!

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Cheesylove the Finale

Well, distractions etc. aside Cheesylove was finally finished at 4.20pm today! Here's the proof.
Okay, it still looks like a Black blob, but at least I'm wearing it! So the Valentine's sweater was completed in time for Valentine's Day and I will be proudly wearing it tomorrow when we go for our meal out as neither of us wanted to pay inflated Valentines prices. If I look excessively redfaced, that's a combination of half a bottle of plonk plus a makeup session at my local training place this morning, it was a kind of bribe so I could have my facial, they needed one last assessment for their records.

Bizarrely on the way home, one of the shopkeepers i know well asked me what I'd done with my hair and since it's been a) 6 weeks since it's last been coloured and b) in desperate need of a wash, I probably just looked a bit healthier so something must be working!

Also, being pure wool, Cheesylove's actually very warm despite missing the extra layers underneath that I typically wear at the mo, just a single short sleeve top so that makes it particularly welcome (even if it does make my face redder!).
Thought I'd introduce you to my latest stash buying excercise, or rather hubby having a splurge. We visited Stash where I bought a ball of sock yarn ( left), some Addi turbo's and some cute rubber sweater DPN holder thingies. On the way back, we called into Voirrey and they still had some Cashmerino Superchunky that I'd passed up on cost grounds after Christmas. Hubbie insisted I buy it after the fallout from previously mentioned event. So I got as Debbie Bliss book as well with 3 patterns that use it and enough for any of them, aren't I the lucky girl?

The skein in the middle is the previously mentioned Spin Thursday offering. It has a mixture of merino and silk, trilobal nylon and angelina fibre in pinks, blues and icicle white so it's really pretty when you get it in the right light. I haven't weighed or measured it yet though it seems a bit small and after navajo plying more like a DK weight than a 4-ply so it'll have to sit and look beautiful for a while until I work out what to do with it.

The saga of the Alpaca continues, no sooner did I finsh Cheesylove than I got started again with my modified Helter Skelter pattern, but 56 stitches instead of the recommended 49. After a few inches, I decided it needed to taper a little so I've swapped to 2.25 needles, minor frogging has again taken place but I'm confident (?) that this will be the final knit. Pictures to follow.

Pretty things- I finally got my Christmas prezzie from LOU on Sunday so I had to show it off, it's so Purty! Haven't a clue what to do with it besides dangle it artfully over things but it's all shimmery and shiny, much nicer than the photo and I'm pretty sure she's made it for me as some of the shapes I've seen in her shop. Still, It's my most prized thing at the mo, even above my yarn which just shows how much I love it!

It occurred to me that I hadn't thanked Kath in my last post for all her help in Blogland, any refinements to this post is entirely down to her so please give her a pat on the back from me.

And incidentally, while we may have had a piddling amount of snow, the same could not be said for my brother, he was unable to get his car down the road due to the massive amount of snow that fell his side of Wrexham. He just about managed to escape on Sunday and come down to see us but I gather it was still interesting getting it back in his drive again. He lives down a private road so no gritters, you see.

On reading Anne's blog, I thoroughly agree in limiting the stash, however, as my local yarn shop is (very slowly) closing down and has a permanent sale with 25% of all their yarn ( and they sell Rowan and Kidsilk haze!!!), I feel unable to join in any yarn diet until it's gone. BUT THEN, boy will I be dieting!
I will be listing on Ebay again to support my yarn habit (also my Burton Manor Course and holiday habit) soon so keep an eye on "chris_cheats" for some book and yarn bargains.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Let it Snow

..So, while the rest of the country grinds to a halt due to excess snow, we get...

...a sprinkling. Didn't manage to take my camera out yesterday to snap Floppy going bonkers over the frozen grass in the local park so you'll have to make do with this somewhat stagemanaged one instead. D'you think he's getting used to the camera? Anyway the grass was barely snowy today, so still some excitement but not quite as extreme. Bless him, when you get snow on average once every five years and then maybe for an hour or two, wouldn't you go a little crazy?

The ducks on the little pond were'nt sure what to make of it all, but they thought I was going to feed them so all started waddling across the ice as I was taking this photo.

Totally out of sequence this time, the other photos are from Sunday whan we went strolling once again. this is the only knitting you'll see this time so note well, We're even going on location now!

"Today, Chris is sporting her new Moebius scarf after Kath and in particular Anne were bragging about theirs" (not really!)
Considering I only used a couple of remnants from my stash and cheap acrylic at that, the darn thing's never off my neck at the moment, I plan to knit one in my precious cashmere stash (If I ever get to locate it again- it's here somewhere!)

We walked to Fort Perch Rock and for the first time in my life, actually went inside! My location shot and the one below were taken inside, atmospheric, don't ya think? The weekend had been quite foggy but on sunday it had faded to a mist which made for some interesting views! Unfortunately, I found out when I got home that we weren't meant to take any photos there, oops, I didn't read the leaflet, sorry!

Knitting has been a bit scant on the ground this week, I had a fab spinning workshop at the weaver's guild on Saturday, pics to follow; and it looks like spinning Friday was spinning Thursday this week as I plyed my odds and sods 2, lord knows what I'll do with it though!

So, Cheesylove now has a back and front and collar, but the sleeve seems to be heavy going as it's back and forth, not in the round. deadline Wednesday, will I make it? PLUS, I just found a nifty little pattern that'd be great for the nearest and dearest so i'll have to slip that one into the schedule too- can't tell you what it is yet though, who knows who will read my ravings!
Alpaca, the seductive one of my last blog is no more, it had to have yet another dip in the frog pond so is no longer a UFO. Basically, I got past the ankle then tried it on my leg. Fitted like a glove but I had a hell of a job getting my heel past the leg part and there's no way I'm wrestling with Alpaca on a regular basis so there'll be some pattern modifying going on in the near future (after Wednesday!)

In the meanwhile, I am trying to CATALOGUE MY STASH! and TIDY IT! There have been brave attempts and an initial sortie has already been made but it'll be a truly herculean task if I really do manage it, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
I still haven't got onto my fave books yet, that'll just have to be for another blog.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

My Computer HATES blogger.....

..Which is why I haven't managed to get another blog on until now, I was even whinging to Kath last night and she suggested it might be busy but it's still not loading the start-up page on my machine so I've had to raid himself's ( on which blogger appears to behave impeccably, go figure!) usual stuff's been tried, so now himself is on the case as I type.....

Anyhoo, onto more knitterly and other matters, joined up to the britknitters ( once i can work out how to upload the code) and I thought I'd add another photo of my Prom walk form last week. This amorphous blob picked out on the pavement is actually a cloud ( and presumably the dashes are rain- how appropriate!). Personally, it looks like some sort of blobby man at an angle but most of this stuf was designed by kids so i'm not criticising artistic tempraments. Still, I thought it was worth sharing.

Now onto true knitterly things and also a lesson in how not to photograph something a-la Lily Chin's Urban Knitter. The offending article is a sleveless, lace pattern top in Patons Splash, knitted up in no time and was proudly displayed last Tuesday at knitting Group (although it will look nicer in the spring with a little vest underneath and bare arms). The reason for my photo was hubby walking the pooches so I had no one to take it on me (at the time I thought I'd be doing a quick blog so hence quick photos). Anyway, It's quite pretty on and it's the first sleveless thing so I guess it's an achievement.

As promised, my so far picture of Cheesylove, the back's been knitted and I've just got to sort out the top front. As it looks mostly like a black blob,the pink hearts at least give some relief. I've used two strands of a 4ply pure Bluefaced Leicester yarn giving a perfect Aran weight.
The pink mohair gave me a bit of a problem, I used a gorgeous variegated Filatura de Crosa yarn on its own but the hearts looked scrappy as it was more of a dk weight. So, a little frogging later, I added a strand of 80% kid mohair, also DK weight in a baby pink and it filled out nicely. I'm still working out the kinks on my Fair isle stranding technique so it's a little uneven at points but it'll probably even out in the wash ( and who's going to notice from a distance?)

So, the reason I'm not further on with Cheesylove? I was SEDUCED by the dark side, namely my new Alpaca sock yarn from Fyberspates. Despite being the most simple pattern on the planet, I have now frogged part of the twisted part 3 times now. Basicall,y it's so simple, you ofrget to count, or forget the k2tog or the yo ( which you can't see) or drop a stitch at the beginning of a row and end up with a giant hole and one too few stitches so it's not been as easy a knit as I thought BUT the yarn is so smooth and slippery through your fingers, it's still seductive to work with.
By the by, after i took this photo, I frogged it yet again last night so in some sort of reverse knit scenario, it's actually shorter this morning, despite a couple of hours knitting. I will have to relegate this one to the travelling and bedtime knitting pile and catch up with some of my mounting UFO's. And yes, this includes my red sock in the pic below but it's not actually a UFO at the mo as Ifrogged it completely!

Anyway, it occurred to me that as yet, I haven't shown you any of my spinning pics. Spin Friday passed me by as I was sorting out and winding a mound of pure cashmere and silk yarn from Colourmart. It was a big bag of 900g of underweight cones, failed winding experiments and just plain tat so it's now all orderly, there's a bag of shreddable for spinning in, and a bag of wound up yarn with little oddments balls. Maybe I'll post before and after shots next time.
So, it just so happened we had an afternoon spinning class at guild- the only spinning workshop this year, but that's another story! We made light airy tiny fat finger-like rolags- Anne, those old carders are just the right sort- then spun them using long draw- or attempted to should be more accurate. Comittee stuff menat I didn't get a whole lot of time to practice but there's a little to see on the bobbin. maybe I'll make time to spin this week and try some more.

Anyway, I got to guild bright and early, before anyone else and got started on this, it'll hopefully be something like sockweight and maybe I'll navajo ply it 'cos I'm lazy and don't want to fill 2 bobbins... There's a mix of wool tops, merino and silk, angelina and trilobal nylon so watch this space as to how it turns out.

And finally, the handspun I created last Friday after a great spinning session at Kaths. Lesson number two, don't take photos in THAT room at night or this might happen! It's actually a really pretty blend of pinks, greens, blues with thick slubs and thin spots, plied with a fine strand of oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester and a variegated strand of silk but it kinda looks like a bit of a mess on the pic- did I mention I was rushing to put another blog on last night?

I'm all tied up with AGM stuff I should have done weeks ago this coming week so projects likely to be a bit thin on the ground but at least you've got some pretty ( and not so) pretty pics in the meanwhile.