Monday, 28 January 2008

Summer in winter

Yesterday was the most glorious day - clear blue sky, warm sunshine, very still and calm. So we made the most of our wonderful location to nip down to Perranporth beach for an hour. I have to show you some of the fabulous photos DH took:








We're so lucky. We've been living here almost a year now, and it still doesn't seem real on days like that. Sigh. :-)

Saturday, 26 January 2008

7 tinks on a Friday night

I don't know why, but I've always liked the number 7. I don't have the number anywhere in my date of birth and I've never lived at house number 7. Maybe it's just a comfortable familiar number, there being 7 days in the week. Maybe it's to do with the number supposedly being the amount of things we can remember readily. I don't know.

So what's this got to do with knitting? Well as I was working on the front neck and armhole decreases on the Twister tonight (whilst watching Jonathan Ross on TV - great show!) I realised that each side seemed to be pretty close to the number of stitches I needed for the shoulders. Which was a bit odd as I still had another 20-odd decrease rows left to do.

That's when I checked my decrease notes. (I had noted down each row number with a mark for the neck/armhole decrease where required right up to the shoulder shaping - its' the only way I can keep track when the decreases are at different rates). Of course I should have checked them when I first wrote them down, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, right?

It came as no surprise to find that I'd carried on the armhole decreases way further than I should have done in my notes, and I needed to undo 7 (there's that number again!) rows of work on both sides of the front. Thankfully they were only rows of 30-odd stitches each side.

Of course it was irksome to undo what I had spent time creating, and to be regressing rather than going forwards. But as I worked the slow, deliberate tinking movements, I realised that it was actually quite satisfying. I wasn't going to fudge around the problem and always know it was there, even if others didn't notice. I was carefully peeling it back to the point where I could make the error disappear. Magically erased. Vanished.

Now the offending 7 rows of decreases have gone. The shaping is as it should be. The problem never existed. :-)

Oh and Della - my confidence is slowly growing that I will have enough yarn left for the remaining sleeve. But I've still got my fingers crossed.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Resisting temptation

Aaaarrrggghhh!!!

Why is it that I have a yarn mountain like this, and yet still find it nearly impossible to resist buying more yarn?

I know it's the same for all knitters, but I just don't understand it.

Twice yesterday I got to the point of adding the current yarn of my desire to the shopping basket. Twice I was overcome with guilt when I remembered the yarn I already have in waiting and the amount of money we need to spend on our extension this year!

The yarn in question is the
SWTC soy silk currently on sale at Get Knitted. I am really intrigued by all the new non-wool yarns (have you seen A-MAIZing and Craft?!) and want to try them all!

Throughout the night I was awake as my eldest DD has had a tummy bug and had to keep getting up, so she spent the night in with me. Whenever I woke up I found myself thinking about which shades I could justify buying as I hadn't got anything similar to go with certain tops... Obsessed.

To make it worse, last night I found the most beautiful pattern that Kim Hargreaves has come up with to date (for me anyway) -
Elizabeth. I always objected to buying the kits although this one seems to be quite reasonably priced - but she's brought it out in a pattern book too! Aaaarrrggghhh, more temptation!!! Why is it not my birthday until August?!

As a diversion I made this necklace last night. I just love the colours and have lots of clothes that it will go well with. :-)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Can you have a slow twister?

Oh yes you can. The Twister sweater is progressing very slowly right now.

I've not had much time to knit over the last week or so, apart from doing a single 6-row pattern repeat a few evenings back.

That was not a good evening - just before I put the knitting down I realised that I'd made a big mistake. Can you spot it?

Well there are supposed to be 5 rows inbetween each cable row - but not in this photo!


Having worked a further 5 rows of 138 stitches since the offending mis-placed cable row, there was no other option. Tonight I ripped the front and started it over again... Grrr!

Anyway, I received a weird shape parcel this week. It was something I'd bid for on ebay and then completely forgotten about. (It's been a very intense week at work!)


Look - it's my very own niddy-noddy at last, and with a mound of free fleece too!

I guess I'd better get that drop spindle out sometime soon and actually try some spinning.

Right now is probably a really good time as the weather is awful - high winds and almost constant rain - and it's forecast to carry on for a good few days yet. Bleugh!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Happy Birthday DH!


DH is 41 today - still BMXing, and now surfing and PHP programming too. All that and a great husband and dad - guess that makes me very lucky! Love ya hubsta!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Red-iscovered

When I was a student at Polytechnic, I wore my favourite pointy stiletto knee-high red suede boots virtually every day for the first couple of years. They became my trademark. How I loved them!

I wore them out eventually, and over the years my clothing colours started to gradually fade out through pinks and blues to very dusky shades. I was headed towards the beige years.

Until we moved to Cornwall that is. Now I seem to be rediscovering colour, and red is one of the current favourites.

I realised last week when wearing a new bright red top that I only had a deep red "evening-y" necklace that went with it. Not for long! Today I made this:

Hmm, I wonder if I can find some more red suede boots?!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Colour on a grey day


Wool Buttons
Look - I found the other button yarn that I already had in my stash!

I can't get the colours to show properly though - it's very overcast today. I may well use them separately; they are all brown bases but so look fairly different in real life.

Della asked what I have in mind for them - erm, I have no idea! I'm going to knit and crochet a sample of each colour and see what comes to mind.

I can't help wondering how this would felt up as it's apparently 100% wool with an outer cotton thread. I may try it with the single skein colour - maybe it would give a funky crunchy texture? Any thoughts or experiences?

I ended up skeining them last night; I couldn't knit during Bill Bailey's show on TV as I was laughing too much..

Cashmere scarf

I realised that I hadn't shown off my cashmere scarf for a while, so here it is.

I usually knit one pattern repeat per (short) lunch break at work, so it's taking a while. I reckon it's just over halfway through at the moment.

Do you like the arty shot on the right? The was a brief glimpse of sunshine this morning while I had the camera out. The pattern shows up beautifully in shadow.


And finally..
The back of the cable sweater is finished!


This is the largest piece, and a little scary with how much yarn it's used. It is beautifully soft, squishy, and stretchy.

I do hope I have enough of the merino to finish the design as I adore it. Only time will tell..!


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Thank you postie!

Our lovely postie (Arron - he sent us a Christmas card!) managed to squeeze a fab package through our letterbox yesterday.

It was none other than the beautiful brown fleck button yarn (originally from handpaintedyarn.com) that I purchased in the Lime and Violet Destash sale!

The package also contained a couple of packs of Wonka sweeties - which I munched happily at work today. :-)

I already have 1 skein of this in a similar colourway, gifted to me a while ago by the generous Fiona. Of course I can't actually find it right now to get a pic of the new yarn family, so you'll have to belive me.

Maybe a stash tidy-up is needed - but I do have to get the ironing done first. Sad eh?!

(I really absolutely do not want to do the ironing, but unless I do it every other day it eats up my precious weekend time and that is Not On. So I grit my teeth and get on with it, safe in the knowledge that DH has the daily sandwich-making chore for now.)

Monday, 7 January 2008

Back to front

Firstly, a couple of answers to questions left in the comments:

1)
Della - Yes I'm on Ravelry but strangely enough have not been bitten by the bug. I've logged in once, and it all just seems like too much duplication of putting images into galleries in Flickr. I guess I should try again and have more of a look around.

2)
Scarlet Princess - Those aren't my feet in the pic - just what I wished for at the time to soothe that achy all-shopped-out feeling!

Now, what was I thinking about? Oh yes..

Most bloggers have been looking back on 2007 as the year drew to an end, and then looking forward to new challenges and projects. I've already done the looking forward bit, but wasn't going to bother dwelling on the past year with it's massive amount of events and changes, both good and bad.

That was before I starting copying the birthdays and anniversaries into my 2008 diary. As I did this annual task, I realised that last year wasn't just about moving my whole family's life from central to south-west England, with it's obvious lows and highs. There had been many achievements along the way that I'd forgotten about.

1) For the first time in my life, I became the owner of a new wetsuit and started bodyboarding

2) I swam in the sea (in my bikini - yes it was cold) for the first time in about 25 years

3) Moving to Cornwall soon made me realise that I love living by the coast - something I'd never bothered about before

4) After attending some local classes I started making (and selling)
beaded jewellery, and was also inspired by a visit to Llama Lland to buy some llama fibre and a spindle (but I've not tried spinning with it yet!)

5) I went to a few cardio cycling classes at my local leisure centre and actually enjoyed working hard at exercising (after the knee pain subsided)

6) Finally I recognised that I detest confrontations, but still had to stand up and say my piece on several occasions. I hated it but I did it - and should have done it at various times in the past

7) Christmas flourished - I actually enjoyed having the decorations up (I usually relish clearing them away), and even bought some beautiful new ones including some small exterior icicle LED lights and a door wreath. Must be the community spirit in our new small village home. :-)

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Where's that foot spa?

Ahh, this is what I could do with right now.

Today my DDs and I headed off to wonderful
Truro for a glorious girly shopping day. Poor deluded DH thought we'd be back by lunchtime - but we only got there just before 11am!

We managed a 6-hour trek around
Lush (first port of call as my DDs are both Lush fanatics already!), TK Maxx (girls party clothes and a new coat for me), WH Smith (big stock-up of half-price thick watercolour paper for the girls' art sessions and a 2008 diary for me), BHS (girls' boots and lunch), Marks and Spencer (Per Una jeans for me and more girly clothes bought with DD's birthday vouchers), Woolworths (Led Zep's "Mothership" CD for me and toys bought with vouchers for the girls), and various other local shops.

The haul contained absolutely nothing to do with knitting or crochet though, as we didn't even make it into
Truro Fabrics!

Friday, 4 January 2008

New Year hangover

This was our fence at 9am yesterday morning - blown over by the wind, taking part of the low wall it was attached to with it. By teatime there wasn't a breath of wind.

I guess that takes care of the first job on the property for 2008!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Happy New Year!

2008.. wow, how time flies. It's been very interesting to read other bloggers' aspirations for the new year, so now it's time to make a note of my own.

1) I MUST lose a few inches off my belly by the summertime - I do not want to be revealing tyres of excess flesh on the beach when the weather warms up. Some may be perfectly happy with that - I'm not.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the feast of food and drink that comes with the seasonal celebrations, but I don't need to carry it around with me all year.
I don't care what numbers come up on the weighing scales, as long as my belly looks acceptable to me! Plus I have a wetsuit to squeeze into.
BTW, do you like the 3 wise men I found in our local half-price xmas decoration sale? I couldn't resist them.

2) I WILL try to stay cool, calm, and collected this year. Our lives should be more settled after last year's big move, but we have big plans for extending and changing our bungalow this year.
That will mean an awful lot of mess, inconvenience, and cost, but hopefully it'll be well worth it. We'll see how far we've got by this time next year!
This should also help healthwise - 2007 was not a great year as it included tachycardia and shingles for me.
These new candle holders are encouraging me to be more relaxed in the evening at home. :-)

3) I HOPE to reduce my stash mountain which currently takes up an entire corner of our bedroom (almost to the ceiling) and some wardrobe space too.
I am finding it increasingly frustrating to go through my stash and remember how long ago I bought some of it. I still have specific patterns in mind for a lot of it, but as time goes on my preferences are changing.

Thankfully I still adore the merino yarn which I'm currently using to knit the chocolate orange twister sweater. The sleeve (in pattern version 2) is done, and the body is coming along nicely..

4) Finally I WILL knit or crochet baby items for the 2 new members of our family expected this April - both due to fairly close family members. The spring season will be an exciting time!

Before that I would like to knit DH a felted earflap hat to wear on the beach - he hasn't asked for one but did express an interest in wearing one! Anybody know of any felted earflap hat patterns?

Although maybe I should be knitting him some footwear atm - he managed to break a bone in his left foot whilst jumping his BMX at the local skate park on New Year's Eve. Yes he's a 40yo boy who loves his toys. ;-)