Saturday, 27 August 2005

We're off!

Well we're off on holiday tomorrow to (hopefully) sunny Tenby in South Wales. There are still piles of "stuff" everywhere, but I'm sure it'll all fit in the car tomorrow (fingers crossed). We're only going for a week, but we have to take toys for the girls too, plus clothes for all eventualitites weather-wise - well it is lovely Wales after all. ;-)

I'm taking my Textured Cardigan and the dreaded Sirdar Fizz scarf with me; hopefully there will be some progress made in the evenings. DH has just found out that there are some good surfing beaches close by, and the girls want to have a go at body-boarding too, so I don't think I'll be knitting on the beach.

See ya soon!

Thursday, 25 August 2005

Don't try this at home

Last night I decided I would try to get my Lacewing Bolero seamed before we went on holiday.
I started seaming away merrily, doing the side seam first. Hmm, not so easy to sew the sleeve in. Never mind. Then I had to stretch the sleeve seams to fit the armholes - strange, I thought, but carried on regardless.
One side done, all ends darned in neatly, time to try it on. Hmm, seems weird - the armhole is a little tight and the neckline seems very wide - almost to my shoulders, and there seems to be an odd straight bit at the neckline before the v-neck starts.
So I took it off and had a good look at it. The cogs in my brain slowly whirred into life. What a plonker. I've sewed in the sleeves as if they were raglan when in fact they are set-in. That wide neckline and odd straight neck shaping is actually the shoulder seams that I've forgotten to seam together! No wonder the sleeves wouldn't fit properly - the sleeve cast-off is supposed to be joined to the armhole edges. Duh! Needless to say it won't now be finished before we go on holiday.
Moral of this merry tale - think about what you're doing and seam your shoulders first!

On a happier note, here's my progress so far with the Luxury Tweed Textured Cardigan. It's very slow - about 7 minutes for each pattern row (2 in every 4), but the result is very rewarding. I contemplated ditching it as it's going to take ages, but I do love the finished look and feel - firm yet soft. Guess I'll just have to be patient with this one!

Yesterday I received my September issue of Sandra magazine. The usual mix of "Oooh!"s and "Aarrgghh!"s. I adore the main cover design, but I can't seem to find the specified yarn in the colour used yet, so I may have to substitute.

I also love this design - I seem to be strangely drawn to boleros at the moment. At least this one has a warmer look to it.

And finally I do like this one - a funky aran knit.

I think my wishlist has overdosed!

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

The votes are in!

Thanks to all of you who voted - you confirmed my thoughts. The winner is the Jaeger Luxury Tweed cardigan as pictured here. I started it today at the Knit Chat meeting, and it looks good!
I don't think it'll be a quick knit as it's a weird stitch pattern involving this: p3tog keeping sts on left needle, yo, p3tog again then slip sts off left needle. It's making a firm fabric so I'm not downsizing the needle size as I usually do.
It was a close call as to whether I made it in the beautiful colour shown, but I ended up buying the
pebble shade.

The project speed doesn't matter; I just wanted something on the go to take on our hols to
Tenby next week. Anyone know of any good yarn shops in the area that I should visit? I know Colourway are in that area, and Colinette may be scheduled in en route if I can convince DH to take my girls to the Llanfair Railway!

The pattern is from a Woman's Weekly Knitting and Stitching Special 2004 magazine that I picked up by chance whilst travelling home from an exhibition about HR systems for work! It also includes this fab cable jumper which I love; this one uses Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK yarn. Guess what I'm on the lookout for. ;-)

BTW, have you seen the
Jaeger JB38 magazine? I love almost every project in there (groan!) I think I may have to purchase that very soon.

Sunday, 21 August 2005

What next?

OK, the fronts are done, and I'm on the short sleeve for my Lacewing Bolero. I've got a severe case of next-project-itis! I just can't make up my mind though. Fancy helping me out? Any one of the following projects will use some of my stash yarn.
(BTW goodness knows why I'm getting all these blank lines. I haven't put them there!)

Which project next?
Jaeger Luxury Tweed textured knit cardigan
Colinette Giotto plain knit sweater
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran lace knit shawl
Rowan Summer Tweed knit & crochet sweater
Audrey in Rowan Calmer
Gemma in Rowan Calmer & 4ply cotton

Free polls from

Saturday, 20 August 2005

1st Anniversary!

Today was the 1st anniversary of our Knit Chat group! I can't believe it's been going so long; the time has flown past. Just goes to show how much fun we all have there. ;-) Pictured are (clockwise from back right) Sarah Beth, Reg, Fiona, Fiona 2, and our lovely host Rose.

Some of our regulars missed out on this delicious anniversary cake that was supplied for us! Very tasty.

My Lacewing Bolero is coming along nicely, although the fronts have proved a little challenging to start. The right front is done and I've started the left front - and I had to begin both of them several times before I got the hang of which side was which for the pattern and the shaping. I'm just too tired. My youngest daughter seems to need far less sleep than the rest of us, no matter how much we do in the day to try to wear her out. Hopefully she'll sleep better when she starts full-time school in January. Until then I'll just have to be tired and knit carefully. ;-)

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

One step forward, two steps back..

First off, thanks & a big hug go out to all of you who sent me happy birthday wishes. It was really lovely to read them all. :-)
I had a fab day with my family - including my nephew James. As you can see, he's doing really well. :-)
My girls went home with nanny & grandad at 8pm so that DH could take me out for a yummy meal at a local pub -
The Seven Stars at Seisdon. I had Romano Chicken - the homemade sauce was heavenly.

I've just realised that I haven't revealed my latest project; how very lackadaisical of me (fab word)! It's a lacy bolero I'm making up in the Morocco linen/acrylic blend yarn from my stash. Let me just repeat that - it's stash yarn. Just in case you didn't hear first time. ;-)

Rose summed the colour up beautifully as a mixture of raspberry & strawberry. It feels a bit harsh, but I'm hoping that a good dose of fabric conditioner will sort that out once it's finished. If it does get finished that is; I'm a little worried that I may run out of yarn as I only have 200g of the stuff. Oh well, if I do I'll just have to frog the back and fronts and re-work them shorter (but let's just hope we don't go there eh?!)

Oh-so-long-ago when I first had ideas about this bolero, Francoise asked if I'd be making it the same shape as my Peachy Bolero. It's basically the same (and again designed using my Knitware software), but the sleeves are shorter. It may be a little different as I've lent my Peachy Bolero charts to a friend, so I'll have to draw the front shaping onto these charts from memory. ;-)

I'm using the Lace Wing stitch pattern from my Vogue Dictionary of Knitting Stitches. It's a very easy 4 row repeat, with 2 of those being purl rows. Not that you'd know it, from my antics yesterday..

Yesterday was the Tuesday Fix - the Knit Chat club. I had a lovely time happily knitting away on my lace wing shrug (up to the armholes on the back!), chatting, and drinking my favourite latte for an hour. Just about 10 minutes from the end, I suddenly realised that I been increasing instead of decreasing. On the armholes. That's too much for a Homer Simpson "Doh!"; it's more of a Bart Simpson "Arrggghhh!" Talk about lights on and nobody home.

So last night, I gritted my teeth and frogged said increase rows. Why does frogging take so much longer than knitting? Maybe if you practise often enough it doesn't. No, I don't think I'll try that. So I got back to where I'd started at lunchtime. I knitted 2 rows. I counted the stitches. There was 1 short!. Double aaaarrrggghhhh!!! I'd forgotten one of the yarn overs and of course it had to be right at the start of the first row I'd re-knitted. What did I say about frogging practise?

Anyway my brain must have warmed up at some point as I'm now on the straight part of the armhole, racing up towards the neckline & shoulders. Did I mention that I've already done one short sleeve? It was good practise for the pattern. I do love the stitch pattern, and the colour of the yarn. Not so sure about the feel of the linen/acrylic mix though.

My birthday present from my girls arrived yesterday courtesy of Amazon - it's the lovely book "Lavish Lace : Knitting with Handpainted Yarns". I've started reading it from cover to cover; it's very interesting. It includes lots of gorgeous lacy scarf/shawl patterns and it also describes how the handpainted yarns were created, plus how the pattern looks and behaves in the same colourway but different fibre yarns. Fab. And yes I now have almost all the projects on my To-Do List!

Finally, look what DH made me for dinner after work today! A very delicious beef salad. There are advantages to marrying a guy who part-trained as a chef! ;-)

Monday, 15 August 2005

Birthday Girl!

Yes, I'm 39 today. The sun's shining and I've got the day off work. DH ordered something from my Amazon wishlist off my girls, but it hasn't arrived. Guess that means I get another birthday tomorrow too. :-) Better get cooking for my lunchtime visitors.

Thursday, 11 August 2005

FO as promised

The Presto Top is done!
This is me modelling her just before midnight last night, immediately after sewing in the last end. She fits really well and feels lovely on the skin.
I had to resist the temptation to wear her today as I want her first outing to be to the Knit Chat club on Saturday.

I had a lovely day today visiting our local park with my girls. This is the view through the railings of the bridge over the connecting part between the 2 lakes. I walked and my girls rode their bikes. My eldest has just mastered the art of riding without stabilisers, so a 3 mile ride was good practise, and great exercise for me.
The park is exactly 1 mile in perimeter, and we walked/rode there and back too. We called in at the new tea rooms at the park, where the girls had ice creams and squash, and I gave in to a lovely fresh cream and strawberry scone with a cappuccino. Just the job to revive us for the walk home!

I wanted to show you the fabulous flower beds at the park which are in full bloom at the moment. Absolutely gorgeous. This is just one small section of them. I must try fiddling around with the photo settings on my mobile phone to see if I can get some better pics.

My eldest is having her first ever sleepover at her friend's tonight; they were so excited! We're all meeting up in the morning for another trip to the park, so fingers crossed for more sunshine!

I had a bit of bad news from Marchmoon this afternoon. My order for the Filatura di Crosa Brilla yarn can't be fulfilled; apparently FdC had promised stocks which never appeared and the Marchmoon staff had forgotten to take it off the website. Oh well, c'est la vie. I'd better press on with more stashbustin' instead!

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

More news..

I'm so pleased with my purchase today I had to share it with you all. This is my new pink suede jacket which I got for £35 (that's 30% off) in the BHS sale. My wonderful DH loves it and is buying it for my birthday which is on Monday next week! Faberooney! It even smells gorgeous. It's fitted at the waist and looks wonderful on, especially with my plum skirt that I bought recently from the Principles sale. I'm chuffed to bits!

Also more good news - Presto is nearly finished. Here she is waiting for me to knit the last 2 rows of the neckline. I seamed the arms to the back & front last night, and it went really well. The remaining seaming shouldn't take long, and then I can wear her too. Faberooney mark 2. ;-)

I don't know, 2 posts in 2 days - don't expect this all the time will you?!

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

Tuesday Fix

Well lookey here! The blob of randomness has blossomed into a pretty little moebius scarf. Just the ends to sew in. I used 1 ball of Linen Print and 2 balls of Cotton Tape, so it turns out that this project is a great way of using up odd balls of yarn. Now that's useful to know. I have a feeling I'll be making more of these.

I got my (almost) mid-week fix of our Knit Chat club this lunchtime, so I'm happy. Today was amazing as there were 7 of us altogether, instead of the usual 3 or 4! An hour of knitting mid-way through a day at work is a lovely break. It's also more than I've managed in the last 2 days; last Saturday I managed 4 hours of knitting (club meet plus a late night) but since then I've only just squeezed in 4 rows per day, at bedtime. I'm just 6 rows off finishing the second sleeve for the
Presto Top, so I'm determined to get that done tonight (even though I need to help DH with his VAT return - bleugh).

That puts me in an unexpected situation; I then have 3 projects awaiting work with the darning needles, and only the replacement Sirdar Fizz scarf to knit. Hmm, that wasn't very good timing was it?! I guess I'd better get those Chibis out..

Sunday, 7 August 2005

Hey Presto!

I'm loving this Presto Top pattern as it's turning out to be a quick knit with great results. So far anyway.

The back and front are done (identical) and here's the first sleeve. It took no more than 1 hour last night from start to finish! That's the kind of sleeve I like. ;-)

I have to admit to giving in to the Marchmoon sale, although I am trying to curb my stash enhancement atm. When I checked for the Brilla yarn I'd had my eye on, there were just 9 balls left of the exact colour I wanted. It had my name on it! I ordered it immediately on Wednesday evening, so hopefully it should arrive soon.

I also want to get hold of the latest Rebecca 30 magazine and a Filatura di Crosa magazine. Rebecca 30 is supposed to be good but isn't being previewed at their website until 17th August which is the official publication date for it. I can't find any previews of the Filatura di Crosa magazine, but whenever I spot adverts for them in any knitting magazines, they always seem to have a lovely textured pattern shown.

BTW, if you've got the latest Knitting magazine, there's a pic in the Rowan workshop article of our lovely Rose who hosts our Knit Chat club!

We visited my nephew James today and he's thriving I'm happy to say. We had lots of cuddles and he's much more alert now. This is his thoughtful pose. :-)

As for our garden, I finally have flowers on my clematis! This is a breakthrough, as clematis plants don't seem to like my garden. These blooms are small but beautiful.

We now also have some stripy grass safely installed in a pot in our garden too. My MIL donated it from hers, and I was told to put it in a pot as it's very invasive. Pretty though. I just wish I could remember the proper name for it!

Finally... a classic from my youngest daughter today.
Me: "Don't do that darling - it's dangerous. If your hand slips you could fall on your head and be dead, so I don't want to see you do it again, ok?"
Daughter: "Mommy just don't look."
Don't ya just love 'em?!

Monday, 1 August 2005


We had a fab Knit Chat on Saturday. I got completely sidetracked when Rose brought round a huge lucky dip bag of Rowan yarns! We could have a couple each, to practise making the project of the day which was a moebius scarf.

I (finally) chose a ball of khaki Cotton Tape and a faberooney ball of Linen Print in "
Smoky" (my birthday wishlist now includes 10-12 balls of this fabulous shade!). I decided I could complement it with some of the left-over Cotton Tape I have in my stash in the "Enchant" shade (deep cerise pink).

The scarf was very tricky to handle to start with, but after the cast-on and the first row it was fine. I still can't get my head round how it works! Anyway, it's fast & easy, and we'll soon be able to see how it turns out.

While we're on the
Rowan topic, have you previewed the latest Rowan 38 mag? I did and unless it's better close up then no thanks. I'm not too impressed with the patterns or the "new" yarns. New? Maybe some, but others (such as Kidsilk Spray) seem to be simply current yarns in new shades. OK so it's variegated, but that's just another colourway isn't it? If you bring out a car in a new colour is it a new car? I didn't think so.. maybe I'm wrong..

Last night I finished the back of my Presto Top, and I love the crispness of the stitch definition, and the mix of shades in the yarn. I'm still not sure whether I should have used the 5mm needles as stated; I went down to 4.5mm as I knit loosely, but it's going to be a close call as to whether it fits a little too snugly or not!
I've got used to the
Sandra magazine patterns now; you need to photocopy the charts and annotate them as much as you need so you can work almost exclusively from them.

My Clover Top is still waiting patiently in the seaming pile; I haven't yet looked for another yarn to use for seaming instead of the silk, which simply breaks too frequently when lacing the seams up. Ho hum.

BTW have you seen the sale at Marchmoon? 20% off all yarns starting today! AAARRRGGGHHH. Why do I never have spare cash when I want it?!

Finally a pic of the beautiful geraniums growing in my hanging baskets atm. I'm definately saving these for next year. They remind me of the Cremosa lollipops!