- mutterings & musings about my adventures into the world of knitting and all things woolly!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Don't look back....

...always look forward. I think that might be my motto for the coming year, what do you think?
But before I take it on board, I may just take a peek at what 2007 has brought to my door:
  1. My most amazing accomplishment is, of course, my little pickle. She started the year crawling, being spoon fed and kicking up the most amazing fuss at bedtime. Now she walks, runs, feeds herself, speaks many words (my favourite being 'Tuddles' when she wants a cuddle), goes to bed like a big girl and is generally just a joy to be around, even in the midst of a tantrum. I love her so much more than I thought possible.
  2. My love for my darling Jomp's has changed as pickle has grown. We are closer than ever with a growing understanding and patience of each others faults. He is my world.
  3. I worked hard at further developing my relationships with my step children as they grow towards adulthood, accepting that they are not perfect and nor would they be, even if they were mine!
  4. I went back to work part-time. I was always a career girl but no more. I don't get on with my new boss but needs must so I'll stick with it and keep my mouth shut.
  5. I have taken on and conquered my fear of socks, even trying short row heels and toe up socks.
  6. I have made new knitting friends through Ravelry, many blogs and SP11. Long may these friendships continue.
  7. I have moved far far away from the acrylic that I was perfectly happy with. Now I prefer cashmere, dishcloth cotton and merino.

So, what about 2008?

I will endeavour to keep my family happy, healthy and with toasty warm feet!
  • I promise to keep adoring my Jomp's, despite his size 11 feet that have become accustomed to 100% cashmere socks!
  • I will try to accept that my superiors at work know what they are doing even though it does seem like they couldn't organise a p*** up in a brewery!
  • I want to try colour knitting, either stranded or fair-isle.
  • I'm going to try to be a better blogger, blogging at least once a week.
  • I will try to be a better friend. I do read every single new blog post but often when pickle is around so I don't get chance to comment. So I'm only going to check my bloglines once she is in bed.

    I'm sure there are many things I should try to change about myself but as I approach 35 (OMG! in 3 days time!!) I'm starting to be comfortable with who I am and accept that I cannot change what's inside me.

    I wish you all a very Happy New Year, thank you for your friendships during my first year of blogging and I hope 2008 brings you that you wish for.

    See you next year!
  • Saturday, December 29, 2007

    Goodies, goodies everywhere

    Well hello fellow bloggers! At least I hope there are some of left still checking in. I wouldn't blame you all for leaving, it's been so long.

    I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that Santa brought you all that you wished for, knitting and otherwise. Now that the festivities are all but over, I'm sure you are longing, as I am, for peace and harmony to reign once more!

    Talking of harmony, look what my SP11 spoiler sent me for Christmas:

    KnitPicks Harmony DPN's! Aren't they lovely?

    Along with some very soft Opal Silk. This gift sat under my tree for almost a month, taunting and teasing me every time I came into the room. But I was strong, resisting temptation save for the odd squeeze, til Christmas morning. Thank you so much Cheryl!

    I got lots of other knitterly goodies too. From my lovely step-kids I received the fabulous Mason Dixon Knitting which is a very entertaining read. And Jomps really outdid himself... along with other bits and bobs he got me 2 knitting mystery novels "Died in the Wool" and "Knit fast, Die young" both by Mary Kruger, the fantastic Colinette Perugino Throw kit in Charade which I have been lusting after for a year

    and wait for it, a rather large Posh Yarn gift voucher! I am absolutely over the moon and can't wait for the PY sale tomorrow! Didn't I do well?!

    I promised my beloved Jomps that he would be wearing his PY Sophia socks on Christmas day. And I was true to my promise... just! I finished them at 10.30pm that evening and personally put them on his feet. I don't think he's taken them off once yet. Pics to follow, as the light has not been good.

    I have also finished my first ballband dishcloth which is such a simple knit but so effective. I might still gift it so I won't post pics yet.

    Anyway, we took our decorations down today and the house was cleaned from top to bottom so now I have a date with my couch, a huge tin of Roses and the Perugino for an evening of unadulterated knitting pleasure.

    I shall post once the PY sale is done, and please forgive me if you plan to be there too....it's all mine, keep your thieving fingers off!

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    A catch up

    Hello lovelies! It's been a long time, no?

    Still, I do keep meaning to post but I've been wanting to take pics and this awful weather has meant no light to take said pics in! Still, I will perservere and press on for your yarny entertainment!

    So, where shall I start? First off, I can now present my Secret Pal Secret Knitting Project:

    These are Basic Cabled Socks by Brainy Lady, knit in Opal Uni 4 ply in Purple. They are size 4 and Lou says they fit perfectly so I'm pleased! She says that she will send me a modelled pic so I'm looking forward to that. These socks were my second attempt at short row heels and toes and they came out pretty well. I can't take all the credit though, I had an awful lot of help from Misocrafty's tutorial which helped me get rid of the holes that seem to plague most short row knitters!


    I've also been working on Jomps's Lovely Husband Socks:

    The first one is done and I'm hoping to cast on for the second one tomorrow. Every time I pick up the luscious Posh Yarns Sophia I'm in heaven! I tell you, it's better than sex! It's like knitting with silk, not that I've knit with silk, but the feeling of that cashmere running through your hands is absolute bliss! If you haven't tried it already, you must!


    CPH is coming along too. I've now finished the back and both fronts. Trouble is, I promised myself that Jomps will be wearing his socks on Christmas Day so I've said I'm not going to cast on for the sleeves til his 2nd sock is done. Stupid girl, why do I make such promises?


    I'm not usually one for enhancing my stash but you lot are such a bunch of enablers! Look at what I bought, just because I could!

    12 balls of Rowan Soft Tweed in Blue Slate which is almost grey. I love it, it's so sft and was 50% off at Web of Wool as it was the last 12 balls in stock. I just couldn't resist such a bargain! Any idea's what I can knit with it?

    Ooooh, and these...

    All bought from another Ravelry member at a bargain price. Enough to keep me going I think! Cheryl, I blame you entirely!

    I have already started my first, but not last, ballband dishcloth. What a great pattern.

    Well, I think that's enough for today! I leave you with a question: Shall I knit both sleeves of CPH at once on a long circular needle or should I knit one at a time? I've never done both at the same time before. Give me your thoughts please!

    Friday, November 30, 2007


    Oh happy day! It's the final day of Secret Pal 11 and my reveal parcel arrived! I have been stalking my postman all week - boy he's going to get a big tip at Christmas!

    As usual, Cheryl managed to brighten my day. As usual, Pickle is poorly, very unwell this time so today we made the 3rd trip to the doctors in a week. Anyway, I desperately hoped I wouldn't miss the postie whilst we were out and he kindly stayed away til we got back!

    Here is my lovely parcel:

    What a lucky girl I am! I got 6 cakes of Lily Sugar'n Cream cotton which I plan to use to fan the flames of my dishcloth fetish. Also some Knit Picks DPN's (yippee!) and a funky DPN holder which I really need. Along with plenty of sweeties to keep my company whilst I read Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch!

    Ooohh, the bonus is a present which Cheryl told me to put under the tree (which is going up tomorrow BTW!) and save for Christmas. I've been a very good girl and put it away without so much as a squeeze although I will say it is soft... so maybe yarn?

    The best bit of course, is finding out who my wonderful spoiler is! Cheryl's blog can be found here and I can't wait to get reading. We really seem to be on a similar wavelength and have lots of similar stuff going on in our lives so I'm thrilled we were paired. Long may our friendship continue.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH CHERYL!! To use an americanism, YOU ROCK!!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    It's done

    Thanks heavens, the secret project is finished! All I need to do now is pick up a parcel from the post office and wrap everything up before I send it off to it's final destination, my Secret Pal!

    I have decided that I hate Secret knitting! Not only was it the first time that I've been forced to knit to a deadline, I hate that I cannot post a picture here. Well, not only the recipient has tried them on at least!

    I cannot wait to pick up my CPH once more. Oh and Jomp's socks which I promised he would be wearing on Christmas Day. Oh and Beth's toddler scarf...and her dolls blanket! There will be pics a plenty again, soon!

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Excuse my ranting!

    I've decided not to start yet another post apologising for my prolonged absences so you're not getting an apology ......... (although I am sorry!)

    Having been under the weather for a while now, my knitting time has increased, due to being off work for a couple of days, but my mojo has obviously felt unwell too because it seems to have taken itself to it's own sick bed.

    When I have been bothered to pick up those pointy sticks, all my time has been spent on a secret project for my Secret Pal that I started back in September. With each of the two parcels I've sent so far I've apologised profusely and promised that the project would be finished for the next parcel. And as the end of SP11 is fast approaching, I am now knitting to a deadline. I only have about 20% to do, having done about 70% in the last 10 days, but now I'm not only worrying that I won't get it finished but also that Lou won't like it! We shall see.

    So, Sp11 finishes on 3oth November. It's been my first SP and, whilst both my pals are fab, I'm not sure if I'll do it again. I have adored spoiling Lou, spending hours trawling sites looking for stuff that she might like and buying her bits that I would love to buy for myself. And my upstream pal, Cheryl, has brightened many of my days. Not only with a great parcel but with her kindness and intuition, and understanding of how difficult being part of a 'step-family' can be. I've a feeling that we may continue to be friends for quite some time.

    So, you'd think I'd be raring to go for SP12? Nope!

    There are a number of reasons:
    1. I expected the blog to be updated regularly and for it to be a sort of 'meeting place' for the pals. In actual fact the blog has only had 7 posts since August, 2 of them in the last couple of days. I guess Ravelry has been the 'meeting place' but not all the secret pals are on Ravelry so they will have missed out on alot.
    2. I had hoped for a vendors page with discounts for pals but this seems to have fallen by the wayside. The blog page for that says that 2 vendors will be showcased each week but that hasn't happened, as far as I can see.
    3. Early on, I noticed on quite a few peoples blogs, that their hostesses were holding 'mini contests' in an attempt to get all the participants posting regularly on their blogs in an effort to win yarn prizes. I hadn't received any such info so I asked a simple question on the Ravelry forums, asking if I'd missed something or an email from my hostess. I hadn't realised that not all hostesses run these contests and that the prizes came from their own stash. When a couple of people told me, I just thought oh well, never mind. Anyway, the forum discussion became quite heated with a few pals saying it was unfair that some pals got a chance of winning yarny goodies whilst others do not. At this point, a moderator, one of the hostesses ploughed in and deleted all posts telling us all that these mini contests are not the point of SP and that we were all being selfish, 'expecting' stuff from our hostesses. I really don't appreciate being spoken to like I'm a naughty child. And I don't appreciate an open discussion being censored because a moderator doesn't like what's being said.
    4. Take a look at this recent entry on the blog. I don't really think I need to say anything more...read the comments too. Again, people are being admonishing for expressing their opinions and we are being told to stop moaning and that the hostesses have lives to consider. Whilst I appreciate that it is a massive job to do, and my hostess has been great, I do wonder why people take such a huge commitment on if they know that their life is going through one of those hectic periods that we all have? All people were doing is saying that as pals, we are expected to communicate twice a month and blog at least 4 times a month, therefore shouldn't the hostesses have to follow that same commitment?

    Anyway, my rant is over. I haven't posted this on the Ravelry forum as I don't want to get flamed but I desperately wanted to express my opinion!

    I have had a great time overall with SP11 but all this griping has left a rather bitter taste in my mouth. As I said to Jomps, I have better things to do with my life than get involved with playground fights. So if anyone knows of any other smaller swaps, please let me know!

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Bloggers virus

    I know. I know. I know I said I would be a better blogger last time. And now it's been 11 days since my last confession....... I mean blog post!

    But I do have a good excuse. Honestly.

    I'm ill. I feel pants. Rubbish. Bleurgh.

    And be careful because it seems to be catching.

    I started off reading my SP11 spoilee's blog where she mentioned that she wasn't well and I told her to get herself to the quacks asap. Then I also read that Sarah was under the weather. Then I got it! I lost my voice for a day, I ache all over and I need to sleep at least 15 hours a day. Or at least I think that's how much I need, Pickle never lets me have more than 8 hours!

    So I just thought I would pop in and tell everyone, well anyone that cares, that I am still alive.

    Normal service will be resumed shortly.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Happy Halloween!

    Happy Halloween Everyone!

    I just wanted to pop on and show you my home made Niddy Noddy:
    An idea given to me by PinkPhish back in July. I've been saving the insides of foil and wrapping paper rolls ever since but Jomps didn't realise and kept throwing them away! All I did was tape one roll either end of the longer roll and hey presto! It works great!!

    Now that Jomps has spent the last 3 evenings untangling Jessies yarn, they are neatly skeined:

    Jessies on top, Gracies underneath. Pretty good for their first attempts, don't you think?

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Cherry Pickings

    What a bad blogger I am... over a week since the last post. Never before, and hopefully never again!

    We had such a good weekend with Jomp's kids. It's not often you'll hear me say that! The girls and I did some Kool-Aid dyeing which they thought was great fun! I did too. Well I did til I discovered how tangled Jess had got her skein. Jomps has now spent over 4 hours trying to get it untangled! Still, she was really pleased as it's something she can add to her A'level Textiles folder that no-one else will have.

    Then we had an early firework night, gobbling down hot dogs and jackets, wrapped up against the cold, whilst Jomps set off feeble fireworks. I was certain that Pickle would go berserk but she amazed me, as always, by pointing and saying "Wow! Nights!" meaning Lights!

    I have developed this reputation amongst the three of them. My nickname is 'The Maker' as I'm always 'making things'. They especially love home cooked food, something they never get at their Mums. On Thursday I made Gracie a birthday cake and on Sunday I made Treacle Tart but they got gobbled up before I could get the camera!

    They all had such a good weekend that they even helped clean the house on Sunday morning! I want the clocks to go back every weekend because we got SO much done!

    Knitting time was, understandably, limited. However, I've finished the left front now as well as the back:

    The colours in these photo's are pretty true. I know the front looks shorter than the back but I can assure you they match up.

    Here's my artistic shot that I love, just look at those cables!

    And would you look at these! Aren't they pretty! They remind me of Pac Man, wasn't the bonus item always cherries?

    Made by Vikki, they arrived prettily wrapped this morning. I've been stalking the postman for weeks but I guess they were caught up in the postal strike backlog. Make sure you check out her Ebay page!

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    An even quicker knit, and I'm happy

    Well, here it is...Pattern: Beth's Beanie by Mummy!
    Yarn: Colinette One Zero. Colourway: Blue Saturn
    Size: 18" Head Circumference
    Knit for: Beth
    Comments: This version took less than 2 hours knitting and fits perfectly! I left out the roll brim and added 4 rows of 2x2 rib which holds the hat in place much better. The yarn slubs seem to congregate in patches giving a nice textured appearance that I really like.

    Pickle seems to like it, not that you can tell at the moment as she is utterly miserable! We'll all be much happier when she's feeling better!

    CPH news for Jo: The back is done and I'm up to the armhole on the left front although I need to tink back about 6 rows as I cabled too early (not the first time that has happened!). I promise I will post pics later in the week!

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    A quick knit....an even quicker frog!

    What a god awful wek it's been. Our little pickle threw up 8, yes 8, times on Saturday night. Most of it all over me! Diarrhoea on Sunday. Poor little thing was not a happy bunny. Neither was Mummy!

    Monday I came home sick from work. I thought I was getting the same bug but no, I was fluey and horrid. Spent two days on the couch, too horrid even to knit. Back to work Wednesday.

    Cue the next bout of throwing up from pickle. Everywhere! More diarrhoea! Yuck! Then today she's got a nasty cold! Aaaaagh!!

    Still, I managed some knitting yesterday. I had a lovely delivery from Get Knitted this week and couldn't wait to get started. We've bought pickle a new winter coat and she needs a hat to go with it so:

    Pattern: Eazy Roll Brim Hat by The Knitting Fiend
    Yarn: Colinette One Zero. Colourway: Blue Saturn
    Size: 18" Head Circumference
    Knit for: Beth
    Comments: Such a quick knit! Less than 3 hours start to finish! The pattern is actually a hat generator where you plug in the head circumference and your guage and a pattern magically appears!
    Surely this would mean the hat would fit? Or at least nearly fit?

    You'd think so wouldn't you? Well, the bugger doesn't fit, not nearly so!! It's at least 3 inches too big in circumference! And I hate the roll brim!

    So, 3 hours knitting equals approximately 3 minutes frogging! I've started again and I'm doing my own pattern this time, 1st time ever not knitting to a pattern! We shall see how it goes...watch this space!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Fit For Purpose?

    Being that I work in the NHS, the phrase 'Fit for Purpose' is ingrained into my brain.

    With that in mind, I present my latest FO for your perusal:

    Pattern: Round Dishcloth by Amy Carpenter
    Yarn: Zettl Colorado 100% Cotton. Colourway: 9036 Green/yellow
    Size: One Size
    Knit for: Gracie
    Comments: My 2nd dishcloth. Picked by Gracie herself. Used one whole skein with only 12 inches left!

    Ok, so it's a dishcloth! But Gracie (Jomp's youngest, age 9) asked me to knit her a facecloth. I think it's far too pretty to be used for dishes anyway, don't you?

    It has sat in my WIP basket for the last 6 weeks, 80% done and poor Gracie has asked every weekend "Have you finished my flannel?". I've been preoccupied with other knits, primarily my CPH but today I'm at home sick so decided to get it finished. It only took 20 minutes! I wish I'd done it sooner!

    I want to knit more dishcloths but there is such a lack of nice cotton yarn over here. I really want some Sugar 'n' Cream cotton, widely available in the States. It comes in such lovely colours but I've yet to find it here. I'll keep my eye on eBay! Not that I need an excuse!

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Oh dear!

    Is what my darling Jomp's utters as I try my hand at yet another hobby!
    In my time with him (7 years) I've tried cross-stitch, designing blinkies, fish keeping, going to the gym (!), crochet, home-baking, blah blah blah! And over and over again, he's seen me try something, realise I'm no good at it and then resolutely put it in a corner to be discovered and binned years later.
    The same with knitting....or so he thought! 2and a half years later and my skills are going from strength to strength! I have finally discovered something that I'm good at. I can't see a time when I will stop knitting. Perhaps when I'm old and grey (well, greyer than those awful few that keep cropping up now!) and my eyes are failing. But until then, never! I LOVE KNITTING!!
    So now Jomps has forgotten all those failed hobbies, I thought I'd try a new one! Stitch markers! I've been looking at the efforts of Liz and ViKnits and decided to try my hand at a few myself. I only had a few beads in my button tin:

    I really like the two with pink beads but I hate the pearly one! Nevermind, I thought! I'll try again, this time with Fimo, grown-up plasticine that goes hard once it's baked. That wasn't as easy as it looked either, will post pics of those when the light is better, along with pics of the back of my CPH and most of the left front.
    Anyway, the moral of the story is: "If at first you don't succeed, try and try and try again (with a new hobby, then another and another!)

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Alternatives to Ravelry??


    The other day I bought Jomp's a bag of Revels. As he ate them, trying to avoid the coffee flavoured ones, I wasted yet another hour of my life on Ravelry. He, being a man of no hobbies, was utterly bored and whilst he munched, he came up with a number of plays on the theme of Ravelry:
    • Revelry for lovers of Revels

    • Navelry for those who like navels:

    • Devilry for followers of the dark lord:

    • Gavelry for collectors of little wooden hammers:

    • My most favourite I've saved for last. Savillery for fans of Sir Jimmy Saville!

    Can you think of any more?

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Bits and Bobs!

    I've been meaning to post all week but I've felt pants all week. Nothing in particular, a bad headache for the last week and overwhelmingly tired, too tired to knit even! I was beginning to think I might be pregnant until Jomps started showing the same symptoms! We've decided it must be the doctors old favourite, "a virus"! Why is it that all GP's diagnose a virus when they don't know what else it is?

    Anyway, this post has no direction and lots of 'bits and bobs' to talk about!

    On Tuesday evening, I went out again! It was my friends hen night and as she's pregnant she didn't want a boozy night clubbing, thank God cos I'm too old for all that! I think she thought we'd have a quiet meal but no, we all had other plans! Instead, 10 of us went to see 'Puppetry of the Penis'. I have to say it was very very funny but really there are only so many ways that a man can bend his bits! Jomps asked if it was in any way sexual, the answer is a resounding no! Definitely not the females equivalent of a strip club!

    In SP11 news, my downstream pal received her parcel last week and seems to like it. She has even guessed who I am since I'm on her blog roll and I stupidly left something with my name on it in the parcel! What a dunce! Anyway, my pal is Lou over at Enchilada Sunrise. Check it out to see pics of what I sent!

    I've been trying to work on the CPH but it's slow going as I just seem to have lost my knitting karma a little. Perhaps it's just because I'm under the weather? I do hope so! I'm also supposed to be working on a secret project for my Secret Pal that I wanted to send in October's parcel but there's no way I'm going to get that finished in time either!

    And now I shall declare that I am indeed the saddest person on this planet, nay, in the universe! You remember that my upstream SP11 pal sent me a dishcloth that she knit whilst on the treadmill? Well, it has sat on the arm of the chair and I kept looking at it, not wanting to use it, it being my first handmade gift that anyone has ever given me! Well, I am a convert! Gone are the days of crappy old blue J-cloths, I am in love with my knitted dishcloth! There's just so much more 'substance' to it. If you haven't tried one yet, give it a go!

    Oh, one more thing.. nip on over to Queen of the Froggers and leave a comment as she's donating 5p per comment during the whole of October to Cancer Research UK as it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A fantastic and very generous idea! Which reminds me, I must learn how to check myself...do you? We must!

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    A renewed social life

    In the last 18 months I've been out about twice. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just too bloody knackered! And of course, hiring a babysitter really adds to the cost of an evening out. Added to that, our little pickle is a nightmare at going to sleep so I haven't wanted to inflict that on a babysitter.
    However in the last week I've been out 3 evenings! We went to a wedding last Saturday night, I went to a work leaving do on Thursday and out to a friends for dinner last night. I thought I was tired before but now I'm exhausted! And I've discovered that having a social life really really interferes with my knitting time!

    Even so, I have managed a little:

    My Central Park Hoodie is cast on and I've managed about 6 inches of the back. The wool is Kilcarra Aran Tweed which is lovely. I' ve even taught myself to cable without a cable needle with the help of Grumperina's tutorial which means knitting the cables is much easier. I recommend you have a go if doing a cable pattern.

    I googled Kilcarra Aran Tweed to show you guys a picture. This was the first link, take a look at some of those sweaters! Is this your thing cos it's definately not mine!

    Or this?!

    Hope I haven't offended anybody!

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Coming of age Part II

    Last week, I posted that my knitting had come of age. This was because I had decided to forego cost for quality when choosing the yarn for my Central Park Hoodie.

    I think I'm going to reneg on that, ie, I don't think my knitting has come of age....yet! I've decided that I will know that it has when I feel competent enough to attempt Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest. I am desperate to knit this! Quite apart from the fact that I've not really attempted any colourwork, there is steeking involved! Yikes!!

    This has been brought on by a friend at work. Twice now I've seen her wearing a lovely v neck argyle tank top and admired it from afar. Well today I plucked up the courage to ask her where she got it from. It was from Boden but what I was really interested in what the inside as it was clearly knit by machine. It was of course very neat but did resemble the back of colourwork I've seen knit by hand.

    So, my new years resolution is going to be to attempt some colourwork in preparation! I say New Years Resolution as I definately have enough projects lined up to keep me busy til then! Maybe even 2009!

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Sugar rush!

    Yes...it's true. I am in the midst of an extreme sugar rush, the sort you had when you were a kid. I can't sit still, and I can't stop grinning. At least I think it's a sugar rush. What do you think after looking at these pictures?

    Yes, my first package from my secret pal has arrived! Just look at all those goodies! And I don't just mean all those sweeties (but, BOY!, they are SOOOO good!). Here's what my wonderful package contains:
    • Regia Cotton India Colour

    • Regia Royal Color

    • 2 balls of Cascade Fixation

    • A beautiful bracelet handmade by my SP which is on my wrist as I write

    • A dishcloth made by my SP whilst she was on the treadmill..can you believe it?!

    • A felt sheep

    • A lovely book that I can't put down!

    • A gorgeous candle that weighs a ton and smells fantastic.

    • Masses and masses of US candy!! Yippee!!

    • A lovely card with a note from my SP, Cheryl, explaining some of the gifts.

    I really couldn't tell you which gift I'm most excited about! You'd think it would be the yarn, wouldn't you? I mean there's enough yarn for at least 3 pairs of socks and some of it is cotton which I've been wanting to try. And when I first opened the parcel, that was the best part. But now, a few hours later, the handmade bracelet and dishcloth and the book are the best bits. Cheryl has put alot of love into these 3 items. She sent the book as she is also a step-mum and so knows how very difficult it can be. So, in each of these 3 gifts, there is a little piece of Cheryl!

    So, thank you so much Cheryl! I love all my gifts and I'm thrilled to have you as my pal!

    Oh, but maybe the best bit really is the sweeties?!!

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Coming of age

    Look what the postman brought me today:

    Part of my evergrowing queue of projects on Ravelry is the Central Park Hoodie. Yes, I know I'm at least 10 thousand years behind every other knitter in the world but I'm desparate to knit CPH! And it's all for me. I've never knit myself a big project before or anything this big for anyone else, for that matter!

    Anyway, I have been obsessing, really obsessing, about which yarn to order. Having never done something so big, I've been really worrying about spending 30, 40 or 50 quid just on yarn for me. Finances are pretty tight at the mo, aren't they always? So I was finding it really hard to justify that sort of expenditure on myself.
    Today I went to my LYS to see if they had anything I could fondle to help me decide. It did help me decide but not as I thought it would. There was no suitable aran weight yarn except a Wendy Aran which was 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool. It comes in huge 400g balls and costs £7.99. I would need 2 balls so that would only be an £16 spend! Just what I wanted? Right? Deal done?

    Nope! My knitting has come of age today! Up until very recently I would have grabbed those balls, paid and run home to cast on. And I would have loved the finished CPH. But I would have wondered why it didn't look quite as good as the pictures.

    Today as I fondled the Wendy yarn, I realised that it just wasn't good enough for my CPH. I knew instinctively that I wouldn't be happy with the stitch definition and the drape of the fabric. And, for the first time, these qualities were so much more important than cost. I want to love my CPH, not just like it. I want it to be the sweater I live in all winter. So I ordered this:

    Kilcarra Donegal Irish Tweed Aran in Violet. I think it will work a treat, don't you?
    Yeah for the hard earned knitting experience that told me the right way to go!!

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    It must be love

    It really must be!

    Jomp's worked last night then spent 3 hours stuck on the M25 trying to get home. So I, being the good wifey that I am (not!), offered to drive him the 5 hour return trip to pick up the kids for the weekend. He very quickly accepted my offer so off we went. All was going well and I even enjoyed driving his 'new' Ford Galaxy. All was going well til he pointed out that someone who was overtaking us, not that there were many of them, was knitting. He did, of course, mean the passenger but I was most put out as I had given up 5 hours as a passenger to sit and knit just so that he didn't fall asleep at the wheel and die!

    Had I been able to knit, this is what I would have been working on:

    My Boyfriend socks for my lovely Jomps. In lovely Posh Yarn Sophia. Posh yarn... mmmmm. Sophia......cashmere....mmmmmm! I do so love these socks and I adore the combination of the pattern and the yarn. The colours are wonderful, very oceanic. I cannot say enough good things about this pattern! I did say that I would try my hand at toe-up socks again very soon!

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Honourable Mentions

    There are a couple of people who have been deserving of a mention in the last few weeks but I've been a crap blogger and a crap cyber-friend so my apologies to:

    Fiona from Knits, Knots, Gnats who nominated me as a

    I'm such a saddo as I'm really thrilled to have received my first badge! I guess it's because it's a validation that someone out there takes the time to read the drivel that I write and perhaps even likes it!!

    Fiona has done a great step-by-step guide to gloves that removes (at least for me!) some of the mystery that surrounds gloves! Check it out!

    Another person who has brightened my day, more than once, of late is my secret pal, Cheryl. I've no idea who she is, or where (although I think she's in the US, yippee!) but I've a feeling that she's a lovely, kind, thoughtful person who I hope to keep in contact with after SP11 finishes. When I got back from our holiday with all the kids feeling knackered, exhausted, plain old worn out, call it what you will, there was a lovely e-card from Cheryl welcoming me home. Yesterday, in the midst of a rare but horrible 'radio silence' between Jomps & I she sent me a question asking which sock needles I prefer! It was so nice that even though I was feeling miserable at the time (all healed now, of course) someone was thinking of me!

    So, Cheryl, if someone hasn't already recognised you, please award yourself the above badge and display it proudly for all to see! And thank you!

    I must also mention my other secret pal who I'm having great fun stalking and buying for! I would love to show you what I've put together for her but I know that my blog is in her blog roll so she does occasionally visit and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I've got over the fact that she lives about 30 miles from me, rather than the 3000 or so I was hoping for, as at least we have the possibility of meeting up in the future if we wish. I do hope she likes what I've bought. I take refuge in the fact that I would love to receive the same parcel so fingers crossed!

    And, whilst I'm on the 'I love everybody' path... to everyone who writes a blog that I read, thankyou! Almost every post that I read either raises a laugh or a smile or a knowing nod etc. I do feel like I've made some 'friends' through this blogging lark which I never expected. so thank you everyone!

    Sock it to you

    Do you remember when I told you about my hand dyed self striping sock yarn and when I mentioned the universal toe-up socks that I'm knitting with it?

    No? Well go check those links!!
    Yep? We'll the socks are finished!

    Pattern: Universal toe-up socks by Amy Swenson

    Yarn: Hand dyed Trekking XXL. Colourway: Berry Stripe

    Size: Shoe size UK3

    Knit for: Me!

    Comments: I HATE HATE HATE HATE these socks! I love the colours, I love the way it stripes pretty evenly, I love that they are trainer socks, I love that they don't have a heel flap and that the stripes continue round the heel. I hate the not so little holes that seem to appear at the end of the heel when I start to start in the round again. I also hate that the bind off is a little tight, not tight round the ankle once on but it's a real squeeze getting them over my heel! Even so...I will not give in, I will try short row heels again. And soon. Very soon!

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Guess how much I love him

    A play on words from my favourite book.

    I'll explain in pics......

    It's our anniversary today and instead of the roses he usually sends (which I adore), today Jomps went on a hunt for a knitting book for me! You have to understand just how alien this behaviour is. When I visit my LYS, he waits outside with the pretence of looking after the buggy. When soft, squidgy parcels arrive, he looks the other way.

    So, for Jomps to venture into the knitting aisle of the bookstore, and even into a yarn store(!), he must really really really love me! And even better, he picked a fantastic book. He said that all the books looked like they were aimed at 'knitting beginners' so that implies that he thinks I'm pretty good at this knitting lark!!

    Did I tell you how much I love my lovely husband?!

    Must dash now...have a date with a large box of Thorntons! Oh...and my husband of course!!!