Friday, 29 December 2006

The clearout begins..

Thanks to all of you who have left comments and good wishes regarding our surprise move to Cornwall. It's lovely to read your words, and reinforces to me that it's the right thing to do. Thank you!

Thanks also (groan!) to Della who has so kindly tagged me for the "6 weird things" meme. This has taken a while (I'm just so predictable and boring most of the time!) but here goes:

1: I cannot, under any circumstances, hold anything other than food in my teeth without gagging - especially fabric. (I'm sure I was bound and gagged in a previous life.)

2: I have no roots at the sides of the big toe on my right foot as they were removed when I was 18yo to cure my persistent ingrowing toenail.

3: I have a 6-tooth-wide crown on my top front teeth as two of my second teeth were completely missing - just dips in the gum where the roots should be.

4: People who hardly know me can recognise me easily (even from behind) by my "big hair". Well I'm a Leo with a full mane..!

5: I can't get into bed at night without checking under the covers first for creepy crawlies.

6: I talk to my house, car, etc, etc.

There you go - that should be plenty to have a good laugh at. Now my turn for some tagging - I nominate the following (but only if they want to):
Scarlet Princess
Goldthorn Girl
Spinning Sue

"THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

As for the move, well I've made a (feeble) start by listing some of the stuff-to-go pile on ebay this evening. Take a look!

BTW if anyone has any problems leaving comments or anything on my blog, please let me know as I've just switched over to the new version of Blogger. It should be better, but there are bound to be teething problems.

I've just realised that I didn't get anything even remotely knitting-related for Christmas this year. Although I guess I should count my new MP3 player from DH as knitting-related as I can listen to the knitting podcasts without borrowing his player now. As for yarn etc, not even a fibre. Oh well - probably a good thing with the amount of packing that will soon be happening.

I have been knitting, but very sporadically atm obviously. I'm working on a pair of Wendy's Toe-Up Socks for myself in some yarn I bought from ebay a few months back. The first one is done and fits beautifully, but I don't have picture uploading facilities atm do you'll have to wait for the big reveal.

Friday, 22 December 2006

A New Year = A New Life!

Well it seems that what I thought was hectic was actually a short-lived blustery period compared to the forthcoming gales.

You see we've pondered about moving to Cornwall for the last couple of years or so, and now - all of a sudden - the opportunity has appeared out of nowhere! I found (quite by chance during a Googling session) a vacancy at Cornwall County Council which is identical to my current post.

After much deliberation about hours (I work 3 days per week but the advert was for full-time) I applied (online, 1 hour before the deadline), and was subsequently invited to interview. So a couple of weeks ago DH and I sorted out MIL to stay home with our girls whilst we headed off down south. Less than 3 hours after the interview, I was contacted with the job offer based on 4 days per week!

I've accepted it, so now - during the Christmas period - we're finishing off the work to our house, gathering information about schools, getting our house up for sale in January, then heading down to Cornwall around mid-February. We'll be renting for the first 6 months, so I have no idea whether we'll have much in the way of internet/email access, then buying there once our house here is sold.

So the New Year for us is definately starting a whole new life, relocating across the 250 miles from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands to Truro in Cornwall! I still don't really believe it...

Friday, 1 December 2006


Things have been pretty busy – well ok, manic - round here.

I found details of a local
Christmas Craft Fair at Northycote Farm this Sunday 3rd December and decided to do a stall there with Fiona of Yarnwise. Great – er, but I guess that means we need things to sell, right? Hence the frenzied crafting in every spare minute since - then there's the labelling, organising, childcare, etc, etc..

I will try to remember to take my camera and show some pics of the event. If you're in the area, come along!

Friday, 10 November 2006

Hooks at the ready

I've worn my crochet neckwarmer all week and I love it. It's really cosy and fits neatly under my work coat without the bulk of a scarf.

I decided to make some more and list them for sale in my Etsy shop - take a look!

These are the ones I've done so far, and there are more on the way..

Monday, 6 November 2006

Cosy and warm

Browsing through Etsy over the weekend has led me to my latest quick-fix project.. Yeah, ok, I know - I don’t exactly need more projects but then sometimes you just feel the need to use a specific yarn don’t you?

It’s a cosy collar or scarflette which took 30 minutes to make from start to finish!

I had a single ball of this beautiful chunky fuchsia pink/dark purple yarn as part of my birthday present from Fiona. The yarn seems to be a heavyweight chunky slub wool strand plied with a variegated silky soft (probably nylon) eyelash strand, and originally came from The Threshing Barn.

I crocheted the collar using a 10mm hook over 10 stitches with 1 row of dc & 1 row of sc alternating until I ran out of yarn. Then I sewed on a button, which fits through any of the dc stitches without needing a specific buttonhole. Result: one lovely neck warmer, which fits neatly underneath my coat without the bulk of a scarf hanging down the front.

Now on to the next on-the-fly trial - this time for my youngest DD.. although having knitted some more of this tonight I think some tinking is in order as it's getting rather too big.

Friday, 3 November 2006

Pictures at last!

It seems that the Blogger picture problem was solved last night, but I still couldn't upload mine - maybe too many people were catching up on theirs. Anyway, here we are at last!

The stripy scarf.
I actually finished knitting this last night, and now just have the fringe to sort out.

It's incredibly difficult to photograph accurately - somehow the flash keeps catching on the eyelash Boa yarn!

This jumbled lump is the aran lace cardigan.

I'm working on the first sleeve, then I have to do the other one and finally finish the body.

You get an idea of the stitch pattern though.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Bag it up

I’ve had some lovely comments on my French Market Bag, and it’s proving to be extremely useful. It holds an amazing amount of shopping, and is proving very capable in carrying a considerable weight very comfortably too! If you haven’t made one yet, I’d recommend it. In fact I think lots of people may be getting felted bags of one kind or another for Christmas this year!

Della – the bag is a natural off-white colour at the top and caramel underneath. I felted it in my front-loading Zanussi washing machine by running it through a 50 degree cycle twice with a pair of my corduroy trousers – my jeans were still clean from the Booga Bag felting… ;-)

More hot projects on the go.. I've been trying to upload pics of these for 2 days without success, so they'll have to stay that way until Blogger decides to behave again.

I’ve received the (incredibly short) 40cm Addi circular needle so that I can work the sleeve of the cropped lace aran cardigan in the round more easily. The
Magic Loop technique with a longer circular needle was getting cumbersome with the lace pattern, and I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted.
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn is gorgeous to work with; I just hope it holds out when being washed and worn.

My current on-the-fly project is a soft stripy scarf in my colours of the moment, which are tending to revolve around the blue-teal-green range. I’m using 2 Sirdar yarns –
Blur and Boa, so the end result is an airy kid mohair, acrylic, and nylon mix which is very soft.

My first New Year’s resolution has struck me too – write up more of my patterns instead of squirreling the bits of paper away in a folder to do later! That folder is getting way too full…

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Moving on

At last - some progress!

The French Market Bag is finished and I'm quite pleased with it.
I used 3 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran bought in a sale for under £3.50 total. The pattern was very easy and the wool has felted well. Success!

The other bargain project is finished too. This is my bulky cardigan made from Sirdar Denim Ultra in shade Seaspray, bought in the same sale for around £7 total.
This was finished a while back, but then it took ages to find some buttons that I liked with it. During my search I came across
Duttons for Buttons who stock over 12,000 styles of buttons and will do a mail order button finding service! Well worth a bookmark.
Then I decided that the arm seaming was going to annoy me due to the mega chunky yarn. SO I unpicked it and seamed it flat instead, which is much more comfortable. Now I just need some really cold weather!

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

More Blahs

I’m playing with fonts. This one is “Papyrus” which I like in a Word document. How is it to read on the blog do you think?

There’s slow progress on the knitting front. I’m plugging away with my French Market Bag - 5 inches of stocking stitch to go with 200 stitches per round. It’s a good project for some mindless TV knitting though.

Had a really upsetting weekend which is going to take some time to get over, so I’ve not felt motivated to do much other than stare into space. I did manage to set my hands on auto-pilot one evening & finished my Booga Bag.

This is my first “real” attempt i.e. actually following the pattern to the letter with the specified yarn. The colours are beautiful but I think next time I would make it a little bigger and maybe add a magnetic snap fastener.

The lace aran cardigan is progressing slowly; I’m down to the armholes (300+ stitches per round!) and now I’m working on one sleeve. I’ve put this aside for a few days as I’m awaiting delivery of a shorter Addi circular needle so that I don’t have to use the Magic Loop technique. It’s not ideal for a lace pattern with YOs that move around each row, so I figured a shorter needle would be worthwhile.

I finally managed to set up my Etsy shop too - just a few items on there for now.

As for all the other WIPs - well they’re resting in the pile until I feel more enthusiastic about life.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006


It’s been well over a week since I posted a blog entry, and the situation seems similar on lots of the other knitting blogs that I read. Are we in a particularly uninspiring moon phase or something?

It’s not that I’ve been idly my time away. I’ve done some more Kool-Aid dyeing, bought a selection of yarns to play around with, and been working on my (many) current WIPs. It’s just that there’s nothing to shout about atm really.

The weather here today is a blanket of monotone grey drizzly mist - not exactly uplifting. Let’s hope I find the energy to make something amazing happen soon.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

One done, two more started

I had a need for a quick fix project at the weekend, and found the perfect solution.
I printed the free
Interweave pattern for Molly’s Headband and used 18g of a 50g ball of RYC Cashsoft DK which I bought label-less for 50p from a bargain bin!The whole thing took 2 hours from start to finish, and it was an enjoyable little pattern. Great for quick gifts!

This pattern has been calling me for ages, and last week I suddenly realised that all my long-sleeved cardigans are pink! Time to remedy this.

I think (fingers crossed) that I should have enough Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn in my stash for this. OK so it’s not a huge shift in colour, but it’s a start.

This pattern is interesting too – it’s another top-down seamless garment, there’s no gauge given and the instructions are for a “knit to fit” style which is really flexible and easy-going so far. I’ve just ordered some more Addi circulars as the pattern calls for 4 increasing needle sizes as you progress down. So far so good!

And - oops - I seem to have started another new project too. Well, I was waiting for the next size Addi needles to arrive, and I just felt like it!

It's the
French Market Bag from Knitty which I making using the Rowan Yorkshire Tweed aran yarn I got in my LYS sale for £1.08 per ball instead of £7.25!

Must go knit a couple more rounds before I have to fetch the girls and their 2 friends from school.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Happy gifted FOs

Two recent FOs to report on this evening:

The first was a secret project as a gift for Fi's new arrival Seth. The new owner now has them in his possessions, so I can reveal them without giving the game away. Glad they fit him Fi - and thanks for being so co-operative and producing a boy for the blue bootees. ;-)

I made them using some
RYC Cashsoft yarn I had in my stash, so they're deliciously soft and machine washable too. The pattern I used was the cover design on this book, which I grabbed as soon as it arrived as new stock at my local library.

I didn't send the teaspoon - that's just for a size comparison!

The second FO is the Rainbow Poncho for my youngest DD, to replace her stolen one.

She loves it, and has worn it many times already - thankfully!

Friday, 15 September 2006

S.E.X. at the N.E.C.

Yep, you read it right. I had a fantastic S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement eXperience for the uninitiated!) when I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show with my good friend Fiona at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham today.

It was amazing. There are so many incredibly talented people out there. Unfortunately photos were not allowed in the gallery area, so I can't show you the amazing work displayed in the showcases and exhibitions.

The lovely lady at the House of Hemp however was not camera shy. Thank you! Here you can see a beautiful display of her hemp yarns, which have such a wonderful sheen and feel.

She had a lot of weaving on display and was actually creating more on her stand. Fiona had a little go at it too. This was a tiny part of the gorgeous pieces hanging on the walls.

Fiona succumbed to temptation and took home a goodly sized pair of knitting needles (amongst other goodies).

So what did I take home? This little lot:

  • 2 craft kits for my daughters
  • 2 packs of Rowan Cotton Braid (a bargain at £10 per 500g pack)
  • 1 skein of HipKnits cashmere sock yarn in a gorgeous bright pink colourway (Kerrie is lovely!)
  • 1 skein of Hand Maiden Lace Silk (in a variegated green-blue colourway which is just to die for) from the GetKnitted stand (Warning - far too many truly luscious yarns in one small space - an OD zone!)
  • 4 mini skeins of some kind of braiding wire stuff and some beautiful beads to try out some Peruvian Braiding as kindly demonstrated by the ladies of the Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers Guild (amongst others) - fascinating!
  • 2 cones of undyed yarn for dyeing from Uppingham Yarns - 1 funky flag type and 1 hemp
  • 1 wool dyeing starter kit and some more fixer for my Procion cotton dyes from the very helpful lady at the Ario stand
  • Buttons from the Button Lady and a couple of funky squashed box shape beads from MoBair (which I forgot to line up for the photo shoot)

Plus I got to meet Fred from UKHandKnitters - Hi Fred! Hope you survive the rest of the weekend ok. ;-)

We were both surprised at what we had ended up buying, and had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful, and it was like spending a day amongst friends. If you have some spare time this weekend, I'd recommend a visit - it's on until Sunday 17th September.

Time to go fondle some cashmere and silk... ;-)

Thursday, 14 September 2006

10th Wedding Anniversary!

We made it to double figures - yay! Happy Anniversary to the perfect hub for me. :-)

Above is a picture of our wedding invitations, which we made ourselves.

It's a very rainy day today, but 10 years ago it was like a summer's day. If you're interested there are some photos on
my other site.

We're going out to lunch at one of our favourite pubs - they do great food. Then tonight it's burgers and champagne for tea!

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

How do I look?

I wore my Presto top to work today. A (male) colleague noticed and commented:
"Did you make that?"
Yes I did.
"Hm. Thought so" came the reply.

So what's that about?

Thursday, 7 September 2006

A done deal.. grr..

I just spent ages composing a long blog post about my latest FO and stuff. Then the bleedin' browser crashed. Aaaarrrgghhh! SO here's the alternative version.

I've been working on a top-down seamless cardigan I designed using some stash yarn (Patons Super Sport Aran).

It's finished.

Youngest DD loves it.

That's it. Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, 4 September 2006

Stash explosion

Saturday afternoon took me to my Knit Chat group at Beatties, and some cunning assistant had piled a LOT of yarn onto the 70% off clearance display, which of course I had to walk past. Oh dear. Once I’d bought half of it that is. ;-)

I ended up with 1.9 kilos(!!) of Sirdar Denim Ultra – 700g in Sea Spray for me, 600g in Blackberry Crush for youngest DD, and 600g in Blue Wave for eldest DD.

Thankfully there weren’t any more of the colourful shades on the stand, otherwise I may have been in danger of clothing the entire family in the stuff.

This huge mound of lovely yarn is destined to become 3 snuggly warm chunky cardigans – hopefully long hooded ones for the girls, and a regular one for me. The yarn is a real soft acrylic/cotton/wool blend, machine washable, and cost me £21.66 for the whole humungous bagful rather than the £72.20 that it would have cost full price. What knitter can resist a bargain like that?!

It absolutely flies off the 10mm needles – 9 stitches and 12 rows to 4inches. I know because I’m too weak-willed to resist and I’ve finished the back of mine already.. ;-)

Friday, 1 September 2006

I have a new sweater!

Yes, Phoenix is finished. Just in time for autumn – although most of August has already felt like autumn this year.

These pics were kindly taken by my 7yo daughter. That flash sure highlights the underwear! Phoenix has a crocheted front, knitted sleeves and back, and crochet edging all around.

The crochet edging shows up nicely along the back hem and sleeves.

I used 450g of Rowan Summer Tweed, and designed the pattern using my Knitware Sweaters program. It's based on an old shop-bought favourite that I wore until it literally droppped apart.

I'm quite looking forward to some weather cool enough to need to wear it now!

And so to fill the hole in the stash, here is today's parcel - my first ever Noro stash. I bought it from this ebay seller and got super-fast shipping and a great price. The project for the yarn is secret atm though!

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Music for the soul

Being an avid listener of Cast On, I have to thank Brenda Dayne for introducing me to the fine music of Adrina Thorpe. I kept listening to the clips on the Podsafe music network and was compelled to buy the “Elusive” CD with some of my birthday money.

I couldn’t find it anywhere here in the UK so I bought it a few days ago from CDBaby in the USA. After great communication and easy PayPal payment, it arrived yesterday and I LOVE it.

The track “Round the Bend” makes me shiver every time I hear it. Fab voice. Have a listen!

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Life Laundry..

Firstly thanks for more belated birthday wishes - much appreciated. :-) Also it's good to hear that some of you will be going to the NEC on the same day as me, so hopefully we'll get to meet up.

General decluttering is what our household is about right now. The autumnal weather has obviously confused our brains and we’ve tumbled into spring-clean mode! DH is overhauling the extension/office, I’ve been scouring the house and garage for items for the car boot sale, and I even got the girls to sort through their sprawling mounds of toys and groaning dressing-up box.

I did this year’s final (for me) car boot sale last Sunday – no knitting done, but I had a great time chatting to my fab almost-SIL – well she will be my SIL when they finally get around to getting married. I sold a boxful of old knitting magazines, books, and patterns, and my lower-priority stash is going on ebay shortly. The remaining few bags of unsold items will be whisked away to the charity shop tomorrow, and we can get on with renewing and restyling our home.

I bought a fab new duvet set for our soon-to-be-new bedroom, but we still haven’t decided which blinds would be best for our 8ft-wide windows. We're thinking of verticals, but I'm a bit worried about them not cutting out enough light as we want to go for a neutral colour - that way I can easily change the room colours with the duvet covers and accessories. Can anyone share any experiences on vertical blinds in bedrooms or a good supplier?

I don’t fancy crocheting any window dressings, but I am tempted to crochet some boxes similar to the ones
Ikea are selling currently.

One of my other WIPs involving crochet – Phoenix – is taking shape nicely. I’ve sewn in the knitted sleeves using a coordinating mercerised cotton, as the Rowan Summer Tweed was just not up to being pulled so enthusiastically without breaking constantly.

The neckline is edged in shrimp/crab stitch – i.e. reverse double crochet.

The sleeve and side seams are next, then I’ll decide on what kind of crochet edging they should have. I think I’ll repeat the crab stitch around the sleeve hems and then work something deeper on the body.

When it’s finished I’m planning on giving it a good soak in my Tenestar Silk Wash to soften it up, and then hopefully wear it lots! Right.. where did I put that Chibi..?

Friday, 18 August 2006

Party aftermath

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to leave birthday wishes for me - they are very much appreciated. I did have a wonderful birthday; some great pressies, a lie-in, a relaxing lunch with my DH and daughters, then a great evening party with friends and family sharing champagne and lots of good food!

No doubt the refuse collectors get a good idea of what's going on in people's lives from their job; it was obvious from the excess of empty bottles and cans what had happened the night before at our house!

No pics this time as we're having computer problems - but trusty DH is on the case and normal service will be resumed soon. :-)

I did receive some gorgeous yarn as a pressie from my lovely friend
Fiona - but you'll have to wait for pics. I also received a great Amazon gift voucher from my brother and his family - which I immediately spent on a dyeing book and a sock book. Can't wait for those to arrive.

The other gifts were either chocolate, wine, more champagne, or money. The chocolates have almost gone, the alcohol is being enjoyed more slowly, and the money is earmarked for more yarn of course! I may be visiting the Knitting and Stitching Show at the NEC on Friday 15th September - are any of you thinking of going along on that day?

So that's that. Being 40 seems to be ok so far. I get to have a toy-boy for a while again too - DH isn't 40 until next January.. ;-)

Thursday, 10 August 2006

FO frenzy

I've been trying to post a new entry here for a while but events seemed to be conspiring against me.. Anyway I'm here to show off a FO frenzy..

First my new ribby cotton blend socks, which I've been wearing all today - they're real comfy and haven't fallen down once. I used the basic rib pattern from Spun magazine with a ball of Regia Cotton Surf yarn - and I have 35g left!

Next is my own attempt at a little crochet box, using some 3-ply cotton I dyed a while back with 2 colours of Dylon Cold Dye. The box is rather floppy, so I'm in the process of making a liner for it with felt-covered plastic canvas. Not strictly finished, but near enuogh.

Then there's a geat quick-fix oddment project - a beaded crochet hairband. I used a strand each of 4-ply wool and 4-ply alpaca; very quick and easy, and eldest DD loes it.

Finally a new poncho for youngest DD - another quick and easy one done in garter stitch with chunky yarn doubled up - a great stash-buster!

I'm going to slink away quietly now - I've been nursing a migraine for 2 days and although I can see ok now, I still feel badly hung-over. Hopefully it won't last too much longer.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Too.. hot..

It's 11pm. The latest recorded temperature in Shropshire (not far from here) is 29 degrees C. Am I knitting? Not on your nelly! I'm lying in front of the AC unit until I stop melting.

Friday, 21 July 2006

All in a day's relaxing

Phew - what a hot week! I'm not complaining though - we have air-conditioning in our office at work, and also a unit in our bedroom to ease the sleeping temperatures down a little. Other than the grass being the colour of parchment and almost the same texture - oh and needing to water my tomato plants 3 or 4 times a day - it's glorious. :-)

Today I've been busy relaxing at home, the highlights being:
9:30am - shop online at the
Next sale although the bedding I wanted has already gone - darn!
11am - do sale shopping in the city centre and have a relaxing pampering hour at the
12:30am - buy a bargain ball of Rowan 4-ply Soft for 50p as it doesn't have a ball band
9:30pm - wind more hand-dyed yarn into cakes ready for knitting up
10pm - finally get around to grafting the toe on my first
ribby sock

A pretty good day overall!

Saturday, 15 July 2006

What happened?

I seem to have lost a week and during the time warp there was a WIP explosion, that’s what’s happened. (No pics as Blogger is having a stubborn moment.) I’ve suddenly gone from 3 WIPs to 8! It must be something to do with the phase of the moon, surely. Maybe if I catalogue them here it’ll persuade me to finish something off. Here goes:

1) Giotto sweater – to be seamed and have a deep crochet edging attached.
I know why this one is hanging around – I don’t like it. There, I’ve proclaimed it to the world. I adore this yarn, so it really upsets me to say that I don’t like the sweater. It should fit fine as I designed it for myself, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite right – the fabric seems a little too loose, and I’m not 100% keen on the armhole seaming. So should I frog it or finish it? Actually, I really like the Giotto design that appeared in “Knitting” magazine a few months back, but I don’t have the pattern atm..

2) Magic scarf – I’m officially docking this one until the Christmas knitting season is upon us again – around September onwards!

3) Phoenix – has had to rest whilst we were in Cornwall on holiday. I decided that it was too bulky a project to carry around with me, so it stayed at home. Nothing to stop me now though!

4) Fortune – is patiently waiting for me to arrive at an evening when I still have the energy to work out the placing of the buttons so that I can knit the buttonhole edging.

5) Garter poncho – was a “quick” project just waiting for the rest of that fringe edging..

Rainbow Poncho – probably about a third done, just need to plug away at this for youngest DD.

7) Tailored Jacket – a newbie born from a love of the look of the “
Prepster Jacket” from the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch crochet book and a desire to use a cone of purple marl lambswool/silk mix yarn obtained from ebay many moons ago.

Ribby Cotton Socks – oops! Well I was still lacking that portable holiday project, so I had to cast on for my second pair of socks. I did intend to knit some toe-up socks next, but decided to stick with the method I know whilst away from the vast internet knowledge bank. I’m using a ball of Regia Cotton Surf yarn bought from Little Knits – it’s lovely and soft to knit with and the first sock fits great!

Oh - yes we did have a good holiday, thanks! It seems so long ago already.

We visited
Land’s End (I’ve visited the Egyptian pyramids but never been to Land’s End before!) which was eerily quiet considering the number of people there. DH summed it up when he said that it was like the sea was sucking up all the noise. Amazing.

On the way back from there we stopped off at
Penzance to make the obligatory yarn shop visit. Our wonderful satellite navigation system directed us on the shortest route – and so we ended up driving through part of a pedestrian shopping area - oops!

The chosen shop this time was
Knit Wits in Penzance – a good selection of yarns and pleasant staff. I bought a ball of Opal Rainforest Chameleon as it couldn’t resist the colours when seeing them in real life.

There, enough. I'm off to do one of the endless list of tasks.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

AOL in Absent On Leave. We're off to Cornwall for a week with MIL & FIL to visit SIL & her family. I'm taking my knitting and crochet, so we'll see how much gets done. See you soon!

Thursday, 22 June 2006

Mail from a dragon

I got a lovely little parcel in the post today from Dragon Yarns - but no stash enhancement this time. The service was extremely quick, and the items were well packaged.

First of all I bought this card, which I think is just lovely, and will do perfectly for any knitter's birthday.

Next up, a shadecard for Artesano Alpaca.

The colours are gorgeous and the yarn
is beautifully soft, but I think I'm going off it. Y'see every time I stroke the yarn on the shadecard, I'm left with fluffy fibres all over my fingers. I really didn't expect it to shed that much.

Do you think the knitted up yarn would stop doing that after a couple of washes?

Finally the real reason for my order - a shadecard of the Dale Svale yarn.

This DK yarn really appeals to me purely because of it's composition - 50% cotton, 40% viscose, 10% silk - the perfect combination for my sensitive skin.

The actual yarn on the shadecard is not what I was expecting, but I do like it. The range of colours is impressive, and so is the price - £2.45 per 50g ball.

This may be on my birthday wishlist - unless I get too tempted before then of course..

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Thirty Things

In celebration of Kerrie's 30th birthday and her generous HipKnits competition, here are my 30 things about me (I don't know if I'm too late, but never mind!):
  1. I fell headfirst into an empty bath when I was a baby and split my lip open, then a couple of years later my face was bitten by a family dog.

  2. I can't hold anything non-edible in my teeth for more than a few seconds without gagging, which I think is to do with a traumatic event in a previous life.

  3. For my first term of being a student I ate only chocolate cake and vitamin tablets.

  4. I was "encouraged" to join in and climb up open stairs to the top of the Beam Engine display on a school trip to Blists Hill in Shropshire - and have been terrified by vertigo ever since.

  5. I adore food and used to joke that I should marry a chef - and quite by accident ended up doing just that.

  6. A junior school headteacher once announced to the rest of my class that my handwriting was "first class rubbish" - which not surprisingly led to me having low self-confidence.

  7. My favourite fragrances are pale in colour - vanilla, lemon, white musk; I also love the smell of freshly-mown grass, tomato plants, motorbikes and leather.

  8. I knew the name I wanted for my daughter many years before I became a mum - but I have no idea where I got the name from.

  9. I love Abba songs but they all remind me of my parents' divorce.

  10. I am allergic to nickel, so I had to have a platinum wedding ring - ahh, shame...!

  11. I never did the long cross-country runs at secondary school; they were scheduled every summer term but each year I was convalescing at home after surgery to have my ingrowing big toe nail removed.

  12. I love to be tucked up cosy in bed at night and listen to the sound of rain falling on the roof.

  13. I share my birthday with Princess Anne.

  14. I talk to my house - usually when I go out and come back in, or if DH is away for a night. It's usually just in my head, as I'm looking around the place, but sometimes verbally, quietly, if I'm the last one out. Y'know just stuff like "Be safe, take care of us" etc. Well people talk to their cars, so why not my house?

  15. I could never have married anyone who didn't get along well with my brother.

  16. I said I'd never have a Xmas baby as their birthday gets "swallowed up" by Xmas - then my first daughter was born in mid December.

  17. I used to hate the colour pink - now half of my clothing is various shades of pink.

  18. I own only one pair of shoes, but numberous boots and mules; I have wide feet and find it incredibly hard to find comfortable non-granny shoes.

  19. Bright red lipstick looks positively scary on me.

  20. My first and best ever job was as a computer wargames programmer - but I've never been into playing computer games myself.

  21. I was the princess in our primary school play of "George and the Dragon" and remember it to this day.

  22. I have a bridge over six front upper teeth as two of my second teeth that were supposed to be there were completely missing.

  23. I have big hair and so was known as Crystal Tipps at school.

  24. I detest being outside in windy rainy weather. An umbrella is useless, the wind swirls my hair round into my face so I can't see a thing, than a couple of days later I get a cold. Yeuch!

  25. I have bitten my nails ever since my parents split up when I was 10 years old. It never helped the situation but I still can't stop!

  26. I can't get into bed without checking for spiders and wasps in there first. I don't check under the bed (too much yarn there!) but I have to lift up the duvet and pillows.

  27. I couldn't be bothered to cook when I lived by myself so I would just empty a tin each of baked beans, sweetcorn, and tuna into a pan and warm it through; that would be 2 days meals. Now I love everything in the TV chef's cookbooks!

  28. I got my DH into drinking Jack Daniels and coke - now he drinks it far more often than I do.

  29. I smoked on and off for many years, but I now haven't had a cigarette since 31st January 2006.

  30. I will be 40 this year and don't know whether to love it or loathe it! Does life really start at 40?

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Happy Father's Day!

DH has had a good Father's Day I think. The girls woke him up this morning with a homemade card each and presented him with a bottle of Jack Daniels. We've been to his parents' place in the Clee Hills near Ludlow for a lovely lunch, and the girls have had great fun climbing trees there.

They have a fabulous garden, and I was entranced by this fabulous waterlily on their pond.

While we were there I worked on my youngest DD's second version of the crocheted Rainbow Poncho, to replace the one that was stolen (mutter.. mutter..). I think I may need to wear my sunglasses to work on it soon..

Finally on Friday I took a deep breath and started on the edging to Fortune - moss stitch over 5 stitches worked on from the stitches on a holder after the initial hem.

It's supposed to be sewn on afterwards, but that sounds positively torturous to me. Instead I'm knitting it on as I go, and it's looking fine.

I was pleasantly surprised as I managed to get the one half done in about 3 hours! Nearly there... so nearly there...

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Colours everywhere

First of all many thanks to those of you who've left comments about my dyeing adventure. They are much appreciated!

I wanted to show you how the Skylime skein is knitting up.

I decided to go for an old classic pattern, and knit a Feather and Fan scarf with a garter stitch edging to show off those gorgeous colours. I think it's turning out just as I'd hoped.

I had great fun explaining it all to the ladies at the knitting session at La Tienda this morning! I took my yarn along and they all found it amazing as most of them don't have access to the Internet, and had not heard of Kool-Aid or ever tried dyeing their own yarn.

I've been focusing on the colours around me as I'd like to do more dyeing. Mother Nature seems to do a grand job of matching them together, especially at this time of year. These pics are from my garden this afternoon:

My wonderful thriving purple sage bush. I love those smoky purples and grey-greens together. The smell and taste are pretty cool too!

The lovely aliums with their rich yellow blooms amongst the contrasting green foliage.

I love this picture - not many colours, but yet so many different shades and shapes together. Can you tell I love the crammed-in overgrown cottage garden look?!

My peony - it always surprises me when it flowers as I never remember what it looks like. Just lovely. :-)

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Clowning about with colour

Warning - this post is heavy on the photos! I have shrunk them down though so click on any one to see the full size version.

You see last Thursday I finally got around to dyeing my wool with the Kool-Aid I've had stashed away for several months. Y'know what? It was easy peasy and great fun! I've got more Kool-Aid on order already.. ;-)

Here's what happened:

Berry Shake
It was fun to see what colours resulted from the "magic" powders as it wasn't obvious. I had my
Kool-Aid chart on hand to help with the initial selections though.

Pink Grapefruit
I did all the dyeing in my microwave, as you can probably tell from the copious amount of clingfilm used! Very quick and easy.

The pipettes in the pictures were only really used for stirring the Kool-Aid. I poured it over the skeins after that.

A final shot of my 3 lovely skeins together:

My favourite has to be Skylime - the turquoise and lime green. It's gorgeous, and of course I've start to knit it up already.