Saturday, 31 December 2005

Bringing in the New Year

DH went out last night for a (very infrequent) night out with the lads (the lads being the lead singer and guitarist from the group they were all in together; DH was the drummer). This meant I had to spend all evening knitting - oh dear. ;-)

Firstly I finished edging & seaming the Textured Cardigan! It's beautiful. You'll just have to believe me for now; no pics as yet as I haven't chosen the buttons.
However there is one slight problem; it's very tight on me. Rose, at the Knit Chat today, suggested that it was in need of some persuasion (i.e. blocking) to give a little, which I will try. If all else fails, it will soon be for sale. I love it, and I don't know why it has turned out small; all I can come up with is something to do with the textured stitch itself, which is very pretty but not at all stretchy. Ho hum, you live and learn.

After that diappointment, I tried to decide which project to continue with whilst waiting for DH to return home - the round yoke school cardigan for youngest DD or Martha for me? I didn't feel like either, and realised that my gloom could only be lifted by a New Project.

SO, just in time for the New Year, a
mini clapotis is born using a gorgeous ebay yarn acquisition from a while back - as yet unphotographed. You'll just have to wait for the New Year to see this beauty which I cannot put down. I wonder if I could sneak it in to tonight's New Year's Eve party? :-)

Happy New Year to all, and may 2006 be full of knitting achievements!

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Finally.. it's magic!

I've been working on the navy round yoke school cardigan for youngest DD, and it's progressing nicely.

I'd finished the body and garter stitch hem on Boxing Day evening, during our Christmas stay at my in-laws place in the gorgeous Clee Hills. I attempted a sleeve on my circular needle last night without any success, so gave up and knitted the garter stitch collar instead.

I'd seen Annette using the "Magic Loop" method (using 1 long circular needle to knit a small circumference) on her many gorgeous socks and mittens, but obviously couldn't manage it without some assistance. So after a little
googling (what would I do without them?!) I found some great illustrated instructions - a picture says a thousand words, it's true.

Tonight I tried again - eh voila! It's magic! The sleeve's looking great, without any saggy bits at the "sides", so I'm a happy knitter. :-)

The contrast yarn holding the original sleeve stitches is staying there for the time being - it's nice to know I have a lifeline in place in case it goes horribly wrong somewhere along the way.

I still want to learn how to knit with 4 dpns - that's definately on the resolution list for 2006, but I'm so pleased at achieving this method too. Who knows, maybe the 4dpn method will turn out to be ok too? Time will tell..

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Merry Christmas!

So here we are on Christmas Eve.. The girls are in bed but VERY excited.

This is our tree, which the girls decorated by themselves this year. There are two sets of lovely sparkling lights on there too, but the camera flash has managed to cancel them out.

I found time to take some photos of the current (and new) projects today; first up the Textured Cardigan:

I was hoping somehow for this to be finished in time for tomorrow - without actually spending any time on it that is. Hmm, no chance of that, even with a Christmas miracle.

Here's the current progress with the edging anyway. It's going fairly quickly despite being worked in groups of 4 stitches over a total of 320 stitches all the way around. I do love the finished look - it really sets off the rest of the garment.

Here's a close-up for you, set against a lovely bright pink carrier bag to show off the edging!

Next is one of the new projects, Martha, being done in Rowan Cork.

I stayed up to a silly time last night finishing off the back - those cabled raglan edges really grabbed me!

On to the second new project - the round yoke navy school cardigan for youngest DD, worked top-down in the round, using the Wendy Capri yarn stash.

The contrast yarn you can see is holding the sleeve stitches, to be worked in the same way once the body is finished. I may need to swap to 4 dpns to finish them off - aaarrrggghhhh! Wish me luck!

I couldn't resist showing you this one - youngest DD modelling her cardigan in it's current state. This method is great for checking the fit.

The front edges are straight, but I couldn't get them to stop rolling for the picture without pinning them to DD, which she wasn't too keen on.

They will need to have the button band knitted on afterwards, so they will meet in the middle finally!

Time to knit! Have a great Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2005

Gremlins and New Projects

Well I've recovered from the stolen goodies incident; it did knock me sick for a wee while, but I'm getting on with some normal (as in non-Xmas) knitting now to put me back on track. The incident is being investigated by Royal Mail and I've also put in my claim for compensation - thankfully I always obtain the free Certificate of Posting when I sent parcels.

No pics as yet, but I've started a couple of new projects. I know I have lots of UFOs to finish off, but I needed something fresh to take my attention.

Firstly, I got frustrated with trying to find a navy school cardigan for my youngest DD, who is starting full-time school in January, so decided to knit one. I have a small stash of navy Wendy Capri yarn (a cotton/acrylic mix boucle yarn) from eons ago, and I've created a pattern using my
Knitware Sweaters program for a round yoke top-down cardigan. It's my first time trying out this type of construction, and I'm loving it. No seaming at the end - wahay! It also means that DD can try it on as it progresses; I've reached the point just under the armholes, and it fits great so far. :-)

The other new project is Martha from the
Rowan Cork Collection - a lovely quick knit cosy sweater for me which is flying along on 7mm needles. I am desperately in need of sweaters, having got rid of most mine in a frenzied wardrobe clear-out a couple of months ago as they were distinctly tired-looking. Of course I had to buy a new set of 7mms the other day as I couldn't find mine - and then discovered them right by my knitting chair this evening. No matter.

I am being bugged now by the disappearance of DH's present from my DDs - I've searched the house to no avail. It seems I need to go shopping again. Just like I visited my mom yesterday to take her Xmas pressie over - and left it at home. Those gremlins are sure playing me up atm. Still, my mom did cheer me up by saying that she was wearing her
bias knit scarf a lot that I gave her last Mother's Day - a success!

Sharon wanted to know where the pattern came from for the toddler's hooded scarf - it was from "Baby Knits for Beginners" by Debbie Bliss. Not my usual selection for a knitting book, but it was all our local library had to offer at the time. I still haven't got round to giving them the list of books they asked for last May(!); it'll happen one day. ;-)

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Bah! Humbug!

I found out today that 2 of the knitted Christmas gifts that I posted to relatives in Manchester (UK) have been stolen en route.

The package was found in a field 100yards from it's intended destination today, 1 week after posting, ripped open, soggy, and empty. Inside should have been the ribbed collar and picot edged gauntlets that I had knitted. They were quick knits, but I don't have time now to replace them before Christmas, so I'll have to go and buy some replacement presents instead.

Some festive spirit, eh?

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Bug Invasion

Yeuch! I've had a revolting 36 hours. Yesterday morning at 4:30am I woke with that horrible "belly full of gravel" feeling, and a stomach bug ensued in full force for the next 4 hours. I spent the rest of the day asleep in bed, and got up at 4:30pm feeling totally washed out. I felt so rotton I couldn't even face my knitting, and went to bed again at 10:30pm last night, without a stitch knitted.

Today I woke up feeling much better (although soaked; I think I had sweated most of the bug out in the night) - until I got dressed, and then realised how completely energy-less I was. Not surprising really; I needed sugar, water, anything! Anyway I braved it into our annual work's IT Staff Conference (what a heroine!) and managed to last out the day.

Prior to that, I had managed to photograph the hooded toddler scarf I'd knitted before packing it up to begin it's journey to its small recipient in Scotland.

I do like it, but as I said before, I'll not be knitting another. Far too much plain double rib for me. It was fun making the pompom with the gadget I picked up in the summer though, with youngest DD "helping"! I hope it's well received.

Right, I'm off to wash my disgusting hair (no, you're not getting a "bad hair" shot!) and drink lots of honey and lemon - being low seems to have exposed me to more bugs and I now have a very sore throat and ears. The joys of winter!

Friday, 9 December 2005

Knit 1 Crochet 3

It's been a while, but things have been (and still are) hectic round here. Still, I thought I'd better show off my FOs before they are packaged up to go to their recipients.

First up, we have Andy - the Andalusian Stitch Baby Jacket, knitted up using 4 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton from my stash. I'm really pleased with this one. I don't know why, but the stitch refuses to show up well on any photos - never mind.

Then we have the trio of Curly Whirly scarves. I crocheted all 3 of these, using stash yarn together with an edging of eyelash yarn which I bought from my LYS. This one is for one of my eldest daughter's school friends.

The second one is also for another school friend, this time in a blue and metallic gold colourway..

And finally the third, more luxurious one, done in a Jaeger vicose/cotton blend yarn with almost 2 full balls of Stylecraft Gypsy worked in throughout, for a friend of mine. The Gypsy yarn is sooo soft - it feels like silk. I love it!

Finally, I wanted to show off my latest stash acquisition - well I have to add more yarn seeing as I've been using up (a tiny amount of) my stash!

Ever since I knitted up my
Moebius Scarf which incorporated 1 ball of Rowan Linen Print in the colourway Smoky, I've wanted to get my hands on a decent amount of it to knit a sweater up for myself. Well I finally found it on sale at Kangaroo for £3.25 per ball, so I grabbed 12 balls of it.
I just love how the colours blend together when it's knitted up, and I just know the FO will look great with my blue jeans, my pink cords, or my khaki skirt. There's versatility for you. ;-)

So what's next on the needles? Well the Christmas pressie knitting is almost done. I have a toddler's hooded scarf with pocket drying on the radiator as I type - never again will I be tempted to knit another of these. 126cm of double rib is not an exciting prospect, especially with the posting date looming ever closer. There's just one more felted bag to knit up now, which should go pretty quickly.

After that, I should be able to get back to my Textured Cardigan, which is just waiting for it's oh-so-long edging. I'm amazed to find that I haven't touched this since October!

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Sooo busy..

I'm still here, still knitting - well mainly crocheting atm. Just don't have much time for anything craft or blog-related right now. Will post lots of pics soon, hopefully!

Friday, 18 November 2005

Spot the Difference

We interrupt this blog with a weather alert.. in a word.. bbrrrrrr!!!

I guess the current cold spell has caught us all out - including the roses. This one is shivering by itself in our front garden, poor thing. It still looks beautiful though. :-)

Personally I'm pleased to have such chilly weather in November. I mean it's supposed to be cold now isn't it?

OK, now progress on the Andalusian Baby Jacket aka Andy (much less of a mouthful!).

Andy is steaming along at top speed. The fronts, back, and one sleeve are done. I cast on for the second sleeve at 11pm last night and starting the edging. Then I realised The Error of My Ways. Can you spot the difference in the photo.....?

I guess that took you about 3 milliseconds. Doh! I have designed this cardigan. I have produced the pattern in my Knitware Sweaters program. I have been knitting it. I have blatantly ignored the words in front of me. Stupid woman.

Yes the edgings are supposed to be done in moss stitch, to complement the Andalusian Stitch of the body. The right front is done this way. No other pieces are. Guess what's going to be frogged? Yep, the right front. The pattern is now officially changed to a garter stitch edging. What can I say? Life is hard.

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Smokin' needles

Tada! I present to you a toddler size (hopefully!) Bowtie Scarf. I quite fancy one myself actually, as it's turned out better than I expected. :-)

On the needles now is.. yet another Christmas present. I had some leftover (yes, stash!) Rowan All Seasons Cotton which I'm using to make an Andalusian Baby Jacket for a friend's 1yo daughter - ah, how sweet. ;-)

I love the Andalusian Stitch which is very easy but gives almost a woven look and texture to the knitting. Very satisfying.

This is the right front, which was completed very shortly after casting on..
And this is the back which is obviously on the needles right now. Not for long though - I'm almost up the the shoulder shaping.

I love quick projects, especially at this time of year.

Finally, the 12 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay in Teal that I ordered from Angel Yarns showed up last week - 2 weeks after ordering. Phew, I was getting worried. How yummy is this yarn? I'll let you guess.

I looked at the pattern in more detail, and it wants another 480g of beads! What?! Hmm, that would be one heavy sweater, just asking to stretch IMO.

Instead, I'm going to knit a swatch using a purl stitch wherever the pattern asks for a bead. Watch this space..

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

The elves are busy knitting!

Well this elf is busy knitting and felting anyway. I seem to have a felted bag fetish going on atm, but hopefully the intended recipients won't complain too much.

I made this one using the Fulled Lopi Tote pattern and 2 large balls of lopi wool from my stash (again!). I added 2 little flower type shapes and an inner press stud fastener. It's turned out to be a cute little handbag size, and I'm really pleased with it.
It's going to be a present for my friend Amy who will become the wonderful age of 21 this Friday. Happy 21st Amy!

On the needles now is another Christmas present - this time a Bowtie Scarf for a 3yo niece of mine in Scotland, using some variegated DK acrylic yarn from my stash. It's lovely mindless knitting, and should hopefully stay on during those gale-force winds up there.

Friday, 4 November 2005

That craze

OK, so I have succumbed to the current Curly Wurly scarf craze that is sweeping UK knitters. I knitted this one using 2 balls of Jaeger Wolga metallic mix yarn from my stash, and I think it looks like knitted curly tinsel! It is, of course, destined to be another Christmas present.

I have
crocheted one of these scarves before, and I like both ways of doing it. The crochet version gives a more instant fix as you can see the curls appearing as you go, and it's also better IMO if you want to use every possible inch of the yarn you have as you can literally keep going until you run out of yarn. Both methods are just as portable as the knitted one uses a long circular needle.

Andrea asked previously what kind of yarn I used for the Ribbed Collar. It was an unlabelled yarn from my stash, but I think it was Wendy Sarto - an age old yarn which is an 80% chunky wool mix. I still have lots of this left, so I'm hoping to find a few more projects for it too.

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Fuzzy hands

The last of the quick knit Xmas pressies for now. These are the Picot Edged Gauntlets from the 1st issue of knit.1 magazine, knitted in 60g of stash mohair mix yarn (don't worry, the halo is scheduled to slip very soon).

They were extremely quick to knit - about 1 evening each, plus a little to seam them.

They're very warm as the fuzzy mohair part has gravitated to the reverse side of the stocking stitch - i.e. next to the skin! Of course I planned it that way.. ;-)

I do hope the intended recipient will like them, otherwise I may well ask for them back..

Monday, 31 October 2005

And another one..

Another Xmas gift is finished! We're on a roll here. This time it's the Ribbed Collar, again from the 1st issue of the
knit.1 magazine. It's a great alternative to a scarf, and I think I'll be making one for myself too.
This took about 3 hours to make. There's no shaping - it's all done by reducing the needle size from bottom to top. Nifty eh?!

I couldn't let Halloween go by without showing you this fabulous pic of my 2 girls in full gothic vampiress fancy dress, ready for the Halloween party. Scary eh?!

Saturday, 29 October 2005

1st Xmas pressie done!

The Felted Lopi Bag is a success! Wohoo! That's the 1st Xmas pressie in the bag - or rather it is a bag.
I kinda made up my own pattern based on a combination of the
Booga Bag and the Fulled Lopi Tote patterns. I used a 7mm circular as that's all I had of that was the right length, and some of my stash (careful of the halo glare!) of Lopi that has sat in my garage for months.
Here it is pre-felted, with the latest couple of Sandra magazines as a size gauge:

And here it is after felting in the washing machine last night:Much smaller as you can see, and a lovely fluffy sturdy fabric, perfect for all manner of uses. Here's a close-up:

Yum! I'm tempted to keep this for myself, but I can make another as I still have enough Lopi left. Fab! I'm a happy bunny. :-)

Thursday, 27 October 2005

Enjoying my week off

Last night we went to Cineworld to see Nanny McPhee - and what a great film it is! DH and I were nearly in tears at the end (a happy sad), and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it too. I would absolutely recommend it.

As DH and I both have Orange mobile phones we were both able to take advantage of the
Orange Wednesdays 2 for 1 ticket offer, meaning that we got the girls in for free and saved over £8 - fab. :-)

I'm still waiting for my long Addi Turbos to arrive to complete my Textured Cardigan, so in the meantime my Lopi bag is roaring along. I'm finding it quite addictive, and it's been past midnight every night this week before I've convinced myself that I really ought to stop knitting and go to bed.

I tried felting a square of the Wendy Sarto yarn, with limited success. It does felt, but in a patchy kind of way, with a messy and thin result. I'm changing my plans for this, and will probably use to to knit a ribbed collar from the first issue of the knit.1 magazine. That's after I finish off the Lopi bag - I'm dying to get it into the washing machine and see the results!

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

A New Love

I bought this side-zip skirt recently from Debenhams; it's a lovely shape in chocolate brown suedette with a stranded belt finished off with gorgeous teal and dark brown beads and a large teal clasp. I don't have any teal coloured tops so I had a browse around to find some yarn to knit something. Well a girl has to be co-ordinated!

I finally found the Debbie Bliss Cathay in Teal (shade 07) and this morning succumbed to the temptation.

I've bought the yarn and pattern book to make this beautiful beaded sweater. Angel Yarns get my order as they have 10% offer this yarn atm - bonus!

To make up for my spending, I'm currently making a bag with a load of Icelandic Lopi I purchased from a charity shop around 2 years ago for £2 (we all love a bargain, right?!) I'm planning on felting it and giving it as a Christmas pressie (after showing it here of course) as long as it turns out ok.

I also have a decent amount of Wendy Sarto from a similar source, which is 80% wool, 20% bri-nylon. Do you think this would felt? I may have to knit up a small square to try it out. If it does, that's destined for another bag too.

Saturday, 22 October 2005

Clearing the decks

Look! The Clover Silk Top is finished! I seamed it effortlessly last night with some mercerised white cotton yarn, and have worn it today. It fits absolutely beautifully - as if it were made to measure - oh yes, it was. ;-)

I'm just not looking forward to washing it. Fiona's beatiful silk top has stretched after careful handwashing and flat drying so much that she has thrown it away. I'm hoping that doesn't happen to mine; £24 is fantastic for a silk top but not if it turns out to be a disposable one.

I love the silk; the buttery softness, the sheen, the drape, etc, but I doubt very much that I will use it again. It breaks during regular knitting way too easily for my taste, and is very "fluffy" atm. It seems like it's just not quite spun enough, but then I am no spinning expert so I may be totally wrong. Still a fabulous experience though, and I'm delighted (atm) with the results.

I finally managed to spend my Sirdar vouchers whilst on my way to the Knit-Chat this afternoon. I bought 2 balls of
Sirdar Curly Wurly in the blue/green colourway for a scarf (of course).

I was also impressed with Fiona's current project of a fake cable scarf in
Patons Symphony. It's gorgeous yarn that looks like variegated chenille. I may well be tempted to make a sweater with this, even though it's mainly acrylic.

Not yet though. I need to get seaming on the
Lacewing Bolero, whilst waiting for my Addi Turbos to arrive. (Daisy - the link is to the seller who I bought the needles from, as you asked.)

Friday, 21 October 2005


Where are these weeks going to? I only seem to blink and another day has passed. Is it the time of year, or is it just me I wonder?

I am feeling extremely tired and lethargic every day, which I think probably has a lot to do with the shorter daylight hours combined with my youngest daughter waking me up several times a night, every night, for the past 5 weeks plus. She can't help it, and I do love to snuggle up to sleep with her, but I still have to get up at 7am each morning so I don't catch up.

I guess I sound like most Mums - past, present, and future. Shut up and get on with it woman.

This post it titled "Intermission" because that's where I'm at:

1) It's the Half Term school holiday this coming week, and I've booked the week off work so I can get a break from those early morning starts.

2) I have finished knitting all the main pieces of the Textured Cardigan (huge fanfare!) and now have to wait for my 150cm 3.75mm Addi Turbos to arrive via
eBay (of course) before I can knit the edging. This means that I can officially work on Other WIPs - wow! This is a strangely liberating feeling, and I'm actually enjoying finishing some WIPs. Must be the Full Moon.

BTW, no pics today as DH has taken the camera to work. Well it is his after all.

Here's what I did (knitting-wise; you really don't want to here the full list!) last night:
1) Seamed the right shoulder of the Textured Cardigan ready for the front edging.
2) Unpicked the
incorrectly seamed sleeve of the Lacewing Bolero (remember that one?).
3) Seamed the left side and sleeve of the
silk Clover Top (remember that one too?!) with some of an odd ball of white mercerised cotton yarn - incredibly easy and fast compared to trying to use the silk to seam with.
4) Finished - yes finished the
replacement Sirdar Fizz scarf - woo hoo!!!

I'm feeling pretty good about all this. I'm even looking forward to seaming the other side of the Clover Top. Better go and do it before I come to my senses. :-)

Saturday, 15 October 2005

Time flies

Almost another week gone, and the Textured Cardigan is still a WIP. OK I have to admit I've getting a little tired of working on the same project now, but I know that working on something else will make this one take even longer.

The right front is done, and the right sleeve is done approximately to the elbow. With all the current redecorating work, I'm thinking of possibly knitting a cushion cover next. I could pick a stitch pattern I like from one of my stitch dictionaries and use stash yarn, and it should be a quick knit - or crochet maybe.

Or I could just finish off those other WIPS just requiring seaming... We'll see...

I still can't get this blog to appear correctly in IE. The sidebar has slipped to the bottom of all my current posts although I haven't intentionally changed the template. Anyone know how to fix it?

Monday, 10 October 2005

Half a Textured Cardigan

Several weeks in and the halfway point reached. I've spent this evening seaming the left shoulder, side, and sleeve seams, and this is what the Textured Cardigan looks like so far. Pretty good I reckon.
She's going to be a snug fit; good job I'm after the fitted look atm!

The stitch pattern is not the easiest to seam. For some reason it's easier to find the double bar (for Jane Crowfoot's wonderful lace-up seaming method) at the end of the rows than the beginning. I don't think I'll ever win any titles for the world's fastest seamstress. ;-)

The current phase of decorating is more than half done, I'm happy to say. This is my lounge, with my wonderful new mother-and-child floor lamp which I bought from Ikea last Friday for just £7.99! What a bargain.

DH was suitably impressed, so we're definately in for a few more trips there.

Note the beautiful Bisque wall without any trace of interior brick mantlepiece. I'm a happy bunny. Now for the curtains..

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Wot no blogging?

Hmm, first post in over a week – what’s happened? Well nothing to be precise. That’s the problem – I find myself utterly uninspired in the blogging department. From what I’ve read from other knitterly blogs, this happens occasionally. It’s just never happened to me before.

For quite a few days, I found myself completely apathetic to new projects and yarn. Instead I am yearning to make up the projects for which I already have stash – and you’ve sent the pics and read the words for these already.

As an example, a few days ago I received the October issue of Sandra knitting magazine. It has some “nice” (yukky word alert!) projects but nothing that grabs me by the throat and yells “KNIT ME!”

Rose has now tempted me in the stash enhancement area though. She’s de-stashing, which means the rest of the Beatties Knit-Chat Club members are buying lots of yarn from her – including me. ;-)

I’ve purchased a pack of Rowan All Seasons Cotton which I think will become the cover cardigan from the "Textured Knits" book.

A pack of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK in a gorgeous burgundy/plum colour also crept into my heart; not sure what this will become yet so it will wait patiently in my stash until The Right Pattern reveals itself.

But back to the Project Of The Moment - the forever-project that is the Jaeger Luxury Tweed Textured Cardigan (aka JaLuTTeC). She’s a strange one. I can’t describe how dull it is to think about being on the same project for so long, especially after several months of alluring quick summer projects. But actually working on it is strangely compelling. It seems to take forever, and yet I love the stitch pattern, shaping, and yarn so much that I can’t contemplate giving up on it. I’ve never felt like this before. It must be love. ;-)

So where has all this adoration got me to? Well the back is seamed to the left front, and the left sleeve is now finished, which amazingly seems to be long enough for my gibbon arms. (I said that. Nobody else is allowed to, ok?)

Knitting that sleeve reminded me of the Disney film "Dumbo". You know, the part where the circus train is struggling up the hill puffing "I think I can, I think I can, I.. think.. I.. can.. I… think… I… can…" getting slower and slower towards the top? That was me working on the sleeve as the rows got longer and longer. Then the train reaches the top and races down the other side of the hill puffing "I thought I could, I thought I could". That was from the armhole and upwards, with rows rapidly reducing in length. :-)

I am going to seam that left sleeve and side before starting the right front. If I say it often enough it may even happen. Well ok, I admit I have started the right front, cuz I wasn’t going to sit at the Tuesday Knit-Chat seaming for goodness sake! Since then I've only had chance to do a few rows knitting. So seaming night is soon, honest!

Then it’s right front, seam shoulder, right sleeve, seam sleeve and right side, front edging (billions of stitches and a forever-triangle edging), and maybe, just maybe, (please whisper this part) wear it before Christmas (thank you!).

BTW many thanks to
Annette for her encouraging remarks at the Knit-Chat Club meeting recently. It all helps. :-)

Finally, for those of you desperate to know the state of our decorating – the main lounge wall is now a glorious shade of Bisque and we adore it.
It is truly the first time we have expected a chosen paint shade to look like it does once actually on the wall.
We have no woodchip. We have no exposed brick. We have clean smooth walls painted in modern soothing shades. (Big contented sigh.) It’s only taken 11 years of living in our house to reach this stage. ;-)

Tomorrow I’m hopefully off to Ikea with my SIL (well she will be if they finally get round to getting married!) to hopefully find the perfect mother-and-child floor light, and maybe textiles. Oh dear, I seem to be in a money-spending phase. Better get selling my unwanted items on eBay again. ;-)

Sunday, 25 September 2005

Time to draw a breath..

Progress is the name of the game.

I made the landing curtains on Friday and hung them at 11:25pm that night. Today we stripped the wallpaper from the lounge after taking the girls to see "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D" today at the cinema! It's a great kids film BTW. :-)

And I've had time to knit too! The left front of the Textured Cardigan is now finished. Tomorrow night I'll seam the left shoulder and then start on the sleeve.

My youngest is not too good - very wheezy and on her blue inhaler several times a day atm. She's sleeping more peacefully so far tonight - she's in with me for now and last night it was like sleeping next to a heavily congested snoring Darth Vader.

Better go and tackle some of the huge mountains of ironing that are threatening to take over my kitchen. ;-)

Friday, 23 September 2005

Chaos rules

Alert! The back of the Textured Cardigan is complete and the correct size! (Stadium-type roar of applause and cheering here please.) Phew, that's the biggest piece out of the way. I'm now working on the left front, which is going quickly - when I get chance to work on it.

You see we're in rather a chaotic state here; the picture is part of my lounge wall in it's current state.
The decorating has reached new heights, as we've (well actually my FIL has) now removed the "decorative" brick wall which formed half of the longest wall of our lounge. It also made the room extremely dark.
The wall now needs to be plastered on the bottom half and the wallpaper removed from the top half before it can be painted in it's intended shade of "bisque".
Plus.. the plans seem to have crept to include basically the entire house, apart from the bathroom which we did 2 years ago. Oops! (Hee hee my secret plan worked..) It will all be soooo worth it when it's finally finished..

I'm also still plodding through my unwanted stash and selling it on ebay; I'm trying to add a couple of items per evening so keep checking if you're interested!
Last night as I was preparing to add this cotton/linen blend yarn to my list of auctions, I got that "Don't do it" feeling. I've had that every time I've contemplated selling this yarn, so I finally gave in. I've decided I'm going to use it to give the infamous Kiri a try. That's at some undetermined point in the future when all other higher priorities are done. Hopefully before I get my free bus pass.

Anyway, must fly - I have to make new curtains for the landing window and start to strip that wallpaper in the lounge - oh and pick up my youngest from nursery in less than 1 hour. Just call me Superwoman. ;-)

Sunday, 18 September 2005

Busy times

Well it's been a busy weekend. We visited my nephew James as we haven't seen him for 3 weeks. Boy has he filled out! He's keeping his mum busy by demanding feeds every 2 hours and is certainly making good use of all that good food. He's doing his party trick in this shot - he doesn't usually move his eyes independently, honest!

My girls had to get a cuddle with their nephew too - here's my eldest with her wild hair (we plaited it before bedtime a couple of nights ago) but James wasn't happy about having this photo taken.

After having very little knitting time during the week, I made up for it yesterday. 2 hours at the Beatties Knit Chat and another 2 hours whilst watching a film last night got me to the last stretch before the casting off for the back. It's measuring a more reasonable size this time, and it's stretchy too, so I'm much happier with it.

DH has been busy too - he's laid us a beautiful new Amtico laminate floor in our porch! It's so fab I have to keep going to look at it. :-)

Tomorrow is a "me" day for a change; I've booked the day off work but my MIL is doing the school runs as per a normal work day for me, as I'm off to
Merry Hill for a day's shopping with my mum! Hopefully I'll have some new purchase pics to show tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

9 years today!

No knitting this evening as we've been out for a meal to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary.
Both of us are carrying more weight, have more wrinkles, and shorter hair, but we're still together and happy, and now have our beautiful daughters too. I reckon we're pretty lucky. :-)

Monday, 12 September 2005

The chef is in the kitchen

Yep, it was DH's turn to make the dinner tonight, and we'd pre-arranged a warm chicken salad type recipe.
I bought a bag of fresh leafy salad with tatsoi today and DH made a yummy balsamic dressing to adorn it and then pan-fried the chicken in strips with a herby tomato puree marinade. Together with cherry toms, sweet red pepper slices, and green seedless grapes, it made the most deeee-licious healthy dinner! That one is definately on the list of regulars. ;-)

I'm doing battle with my thick curly hair every day atm - I've had it cut and the bulk taken out a little but it stills just wants to frizz! Must be the weather; not that that knowledge helps when I look in the mirror. I'm using the hair products I've currently got about 3 times a day right now, and I'm thinking of investing in a set of GHD hair irons as I've had recommendations from 2 friends. Any suggestions for great calming hair products?

The Textured Cardigan is now progressing nicely once again; I've found that switching to aluminium needles makes life much easier with this fluffy yarn - much less grabby. Better get on with it!

Saturday, 10 September 2005

Parcel time

My girls got me up this morning just in time for the postie to arrive with 2 fab parcels.
First up was this Wendy Supreme cotton in variegated purples; I couldn't resist it when I saw it up for grabs on
eBay as I've been meaning to get some for a while.

Then there was my second parcel from my SP5 pal - Sandra in Croatia!
There was a veritable feast of goodies included. First, for me - 8 balls of fine cotton in a rich terracotta shade, 2 packs of snacks, a bar of Aloe Vera soap, a lavender bag, 2 apple fragrance candles, and a big box of Bajadera chocolates - yum!

And then there were even more goodies for my girls; a lovely knitted heart scarf, a little bag with cute buttons (and extra ones the same for me to use), a pack of coloured pencils, an animal storage tin, and finally 2 little tops for my baby nephew James. Thanks Sandra!

On the knitting front, I have good news and bad. First the good news - I finished the back of the Luxury Tweed textured cardigan. And the bad - it will probably end up as a little cushion cover as it's too small! I must have mis-counted my tension swatch as it's measuring 32" across the bust when it should be 39". Let me count to ten....

I discovered this last night, and after sleeping on it I decided to go up to 4.5mm needles (go up a size? Unheard of for me!) and this swatch seems to measure correctly after checking and re-checking. So I've started again. I could still be on this project in the New Year at this rate..