Friday, 28 April 2006

Snap happy

Ah - sunshine! How I love it. The girls played with the bubbles in the garden yesterday afternoon while I wandered around with the camera.

I really like this pic as the camera has focused on the nearest bubble with the sunlight glinting off it and my youngest looking very happy about it all. She adores bubbles.

I moved on to the flowers and wanted to share these two pics with you.

First a couple of tulips doing very well - and not yet been eaten by our resident grey squirrels as in previous years..

Also my favourite spring flower in our garden - the snakeshead fritillary. Just beautiful.

Yes, I've been knitting too. The ladder wrap is coming along quite quickly thanks to that birthday deadline. Nothing like a bit of pressure to keep you motivated.

Monday, 24 April 2006

Holiday aftermath

We’re back home. Yippee! We had a good break in lovely Wales, but I always love coming back to the comfort of our home. No pics – hopefully DH is going to buy me a good compact digital camera for my birthday this year so I’ll be able to snap away to my heart’s content when we’re away from home.

The weather on holiday was about 70% pants, but we made the most of the sunshine and went to the beach a couple of times. The kids had a thoroughly great time, mainly due to the facilities on the
holiday park like the “Learn 2 Swim” lessons every lunchtime and a disco every evening.

I feel like we had a break as the girls were up late every night, which meant that they actually slept until around 8:30am every morning – utter bliss! I really felt quite energetic by the weekend – not usually how I would describe myself.

On the knitting front, I maintained the yarn diet with very little effort. I only actually saw one place selling yarn (in the Pound Shop of all places!), and that was nothing amazing.

I did manage to finish the
Jaywalkers though. They’re fab, and fit beautifully. I adore the colours in the Opal Rainforest Flamingo yarn, and love how they’ve turned out with this chevron pattern.

That’s my first ever pair of socks completed!

I also started (several times) a very easy project. It’s a large rectangular wrap based on
design B here for the Sirdar Firefly yarn. I’m using the taupe Fantasie ladder yarn I bought from ebay last June.
This is hopefully going to be a gift for a relative’s birthday – if I manage to finish it in time, which is why I’ve had to start it now. Actually I’d rather be working on my Fortune cardigan, but I’ll have to be patient.

It’s certainly not TV knitting though – you have to keep an eye on where those needles are sitting in the ladders. Better go and do some now.

Thursday, 13 April 2006

Lent-along completed

Firstly thanks everyone for your kind words about the non-smoking - I can hardly believe it's been over 2 months now!

For those of you who asked about the Jaywalker yarn I'm using - it's Opal Rainforest Flamingo. I'm working on the heel gusset of the second sock, so hopefully I'll have my first ever pair of handknitted socks real soon!

As for the yarn storage, thanks again for your suggestions. Hopefully the cashflow situation is due to improve soon, so I will actually be able to purchase something more suitable in which to hoard my sizeable stash.

Finally for tonight, we have my last contender for the
Lent-along - my version of Mrs Beeton wristwarmers:

The modelled photo - to show that they are really finished, ends darned in, etc!

Also the "reclining alone" photo to illustrate the delicate picot edge cast-off.

I love these. I used Cashsoft DK and Kidsilk Haze together with beads from Rowan and Hobbycraft. The wristwarmers feel luxuriously soft and warm, and everyone who sees them coos over them. The beads really add that finishing touch. Yet another great free pattern from Knitty!

I was inspired to finish the wristwarmers by our imminent holiday to New Quay in Wales next week. I love Wales, but I don't trust the weather, especially at this time of year. At least now I can have wrists wrapped in luxury, even if the rest of me is damp and shivering.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Taking stock

My eldest daughter has achieved her first swimming award – her 10m badge and certificate. She’s understandably very excited about it. Well done Connie!

You’ve no doubt noticed the new counter above; since adding my “no smoking” counter at the end of my blog I found that it’s a great source of encouragement. Hence the new one.

So why do I need encouraging NOT to buy yarn? Well I think this lot is pretty convincing:

1) I have no money in the yarn pot. Not even any loose change. Just some dust and an old paper clip. (Where do they come from?)

2) My knitting spreadsheet (sad aren't I?) informs me that I already have the required yarn for no less than 27 projects. Everything ranging from sweaters to socks; of which 26 projects are for me. Obviously I have other yarn too, it’s just not allocated to a project yet. A lot of it probably never will be.

3) It would be nice to actually make some of these planned items. Heck, I might even like them enough to wear them, which would be useful. Then when I’ve used up lots of stash I can buy lots of the latest yarns with a clear conscience.

4) We’re in the process of spring-cleaning-leading-to-doing-up-the-house and I’ve decided that I need new storage for my yarn. Maybe something that shrinks it to half it’s size so that I can squeeze it in somewhere inconspicuous. (I’d love to have it all on display but we don’t have the space. Who has?)

See what I mean? So, a yarn diet it is. How long do you reckon I’ll last? ;-)

BTW, if you have any comments about the best/worst type of yarn storage, I'd love to hear them. Is it ok to store yarn in those vacuum-shrink bags? Or in PVC ones? Or should it be in something more breathable like a canvas storage unit? I need ones that will fit under our bed - come on, shout up knitters!

Saturday, 8 April 2006

Hopping along

Thanks for your kind comments about my Coral Crochet Cardigan. I've been basking in the glory of finally completing this project for the past week, but not without knitting anything else.

Look - my first ever sock is complete! I'm rather worried that such an enormous looking sock actually fits my foot so precisely..

I even grafted the toe - which I found very easy whilst carefully following these instructions. Thank you Knitty!

The second Jaywalker is on the needles - just starting the heel flap. Looks like I might need to finish them and wear them as it's still so darn cold. We awoke to snow this morning. I am not amused.

This was the sky at the front of our house around 7:50pm tonight - shepherd's delight? I just hope tomorrow's a little milder but I'm not holding my breath.

I really ought to get that other
Mrs Beeton knitted up so I can take them on our hols to Wales next weekend. Looks like I might need them there.

Saturday, 1 April 2006

Worth the wait

Finally, a mere 3 years and 1 month after starting my Coral Crochet Cardigan... it's finished! I've named it "Vintage" for obvious reasons.

The front.. showing off all the details..

The back.. showing off the great fit..

And the front again in closer detail..

This is my own design using my
Knitware Sweaters program. I fudged a knitting pattern from it 3 years ago, but the program now does actually produce crochet patterns too!

I finished it off with an edging from a Harmony crochet book that I found in my local library, and
crocheted some buttons in the same yarn.

I wore it today to the Beatties Knit Chat and it's really lovely to wear, although I did feel that I should have been wearing a hat and going to a wedding.. ;-)

Now to find a top that looks better with it..!

This means that none of my UFOs are more than 3 months old!!! Woohooo!