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

Friday, August 31, 2007

I survived!

Caution: Photo heavy post....none of which are even remotely knitting related!
Well, we made it. 5 days at Pontins, Brean Sands. 4 kids, ranging from 16 (going on 40) to 17 months. 2 adults (now feeling like OAP's). A great time was had by all...well, almost all!

Thankfully, we didn't have a drop of rain, I didn't spot one cockroach (you should read the reviews, no wonder I was dreading it!) and the car that we hired (as our car died) got us there in one piece!

We visited Tintern Abbey, an Animal Farm and Stonehenge.

Tintern Abbey is just beautiful and well worth a trip across the Severn Bridge. We went last year when Beth was just 13 weeks old. Now she's approaching 18 months and had a great time exploring!

The Animal farm was fantastic for little ones, really tame animals, so tame that even Beth managed to feed a cow! She had a lovely afternoon with me & Daddy whilst Jess, Tom & Grace were at an amusement park. (Have you ever tried to keep such a broad age range happy? It's bl**dy difficult, let me tell you!)

Then we stopped via Stonehenge on the way home. They're all a bit tired, can you tell?!

So, as we approached Stonehenge, a little voice from the 9 year old piped up, "What's that?". Thinking she meant the big circle of stones I started to speak then she added "Is it a car boot sale?"!!!! She'd spotted the car park! I'm hopeful that this is the first and last time that a World Heritage Site is described as a 'Car Boot Sale'!!

During our last evening's dinner, we asked if they'd all had a good time. The response was "well, it's not our sort of holiday but we've had a good time". I wanted to scream " Do you think it's our bl**dy sort of holiday...crammed into a sardine tin with you lot trying to keep you all happy?" But of course I didn't, we just smiled!

Kids...who'd have 'em?!!

Me?... I need a holiday!!
Edited to add: Oh, and I managed a whole 10 rows of another dishcloth...whoopy doo!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Have a great bank holiday everyone! Make the most of it as it's the last one til Christmas!

Just popped on to say that I'm going away today, back on Friday. Forgot to let my SP know so "sorry SP!"

Back on Friday to regale you with stories of a week with 4 kids in a crappy holiday camp in the rain! Can you tell I'm not really looking forward to it?!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'll wash, you dry!

How sad am I? No...actually, please don't answer that!! I know that I am actually very sad indeed. Knitting dishcloth's just reinforces this fact even further!!

Pattern: Garterlac Dishcloth by Criminy Jickets

Yarn: Zettl Colorado cotton

Colourway: Blue

Size: One size

Knit for: The bathroom!

Comments: My first dishcloth and I really enjoyed it. A really brainless knit for watching TV etc. Fab! I'm going to use it to wash my face rather than the dishes!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Here they are! Can you tell how much I love love love my fetchings?

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Colourway: Kingfisher
Size: One size
Knit for: Me!
Comments: What more can I say....great pattern, gorgeous yarn, easy & quick to knit...what more could you want! The first pair but definately not the last!

Friday, August 17, 2007

And they're off!

Off the needles....my fetchings are done! Quite possibly the quickest thing I have ever knit. No pics to show yet as the light is bad but I love them soooooo much! It's a fantastic pattern with beautiful wool....what more could a knitter want? I have a feeling that I shall be making many many more pairs but I really don't mind because I LOVE MY FETCHINGS!!!!!!

The Secret Pal's are off too! I received my match on Wednesday evening and have had a good stalk of their questionnaire, blog and Ravelry pages. I was a little disappointed as she lives in the UK and I was hoping to spoil a foreigner with such lovelies as Posh Yarn cashmere, humbugs and Yorkshire tea but nevermind! I sent her an anonymous email saying hello but haven't heard anything back yet not have I heard from my upstream pal either so it's all a bit quiet on that front! I've already placed an order for my pal's first package tho! I could really get into this S.E.X. that's not for me, I always feel a bit guilty buying yarn for myself!

I realised I hadn't said 'hello!' to my Secret Pal in case they happen to pop in so 'Come on in, pull up a chair and make yourself at home...kettles on and biscuits are in the tin!'

Right...must go do some knitting!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Old and new

Look what I found for the princely sum of £1 today...

I remember having one as a kid and being thrilled that I could produce coasters and the like! Now of course I know how to produce I-cord on DPN's and also know far more uses for it so I doubt this will even come out of it's box til my little one is 7 or 8 and wants to learn how to knit but it took me on a quick trip down memory lane!

I've been in a bit of a slump knitting wise. The MS3 bug bit me on the bum then flew off somewhere never to be seen again. Clue 6 came out today and I'm only 25% of the way through Clue 2. I will get it done but maybe not in the next few months!

I've finished one of the toe up socks (forgot to take a picture and now there's not enough light). I stopped just after the heel so they're trainer socks. The self striping yarn that I dyed does work well and was worth the effort but I'm not happy with the sock overall. I love the short row toe and heel (especially the heel as they look more like socks you buy) but I have holes at the ends of the short rows. I've done some reading and will try to knit the wrapped stitches through the back loop on the next sock to see if that gets rid of the holes. I also tried a picot bind off twice but it just looked stupid so I did a couple of rows in rib to finish.

Today I bought myself some 4mm DPN's and have started swatching for my first pair of Fetching

I love the way the fabric is knitting up, lovely and firm. Great colour too!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"I want never gets"

Do you remember your parents telling you that when you were a child? I do and I also remember trying to figure out how people would know what I wanted if I didn't tell them. My retort was often "If you don't ask, you don't get". Shortly followed by a clip round the ear being told not to answer back! Fond memories!

Anyway, having posted my SP11 questionnaire to help my secret pal, I find myself mulling over all my answers. I mean do I really consider myself an advance beginner? Or am I heading towards an intermediate knitter? I'm not used to boasting about myself so I'm still erring towards my original answer.

Really it's Question 20 that has got my tiny little brain ticking: Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Ever since I answered that question I have been coming up with things I really really want, nay, need to make my life complete! Things like Cascade 220 in every single colour, some Koigo KPPPM, plenty of Lorna's Laces, and Posh Yarn in all available colourways. Of course putting all that in my answer would have made me look like a right greedy guts! And even posting it here makes me uncomfortable as I want my Secret Pal to know even before the off that I am guaranteed to love whatever they send me! I'm so excited to receive a parcel or two!

That said, I've never really compiled a knitting wish list before so having to do it has been addictive. Every time I've had a quiet moment (there have not been many with it being school holidays!) my brain starts filling up with all the knitterly goodies that I would treat myself to if I won the lottery.

Oh, a girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Questions..questions... SP11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I am in no way a yarn snob! Acrylic has a very large place in my heart as it really is the only thing to use for my young daughter! As my knitting knowledge has increased so has my liking for more luxurious yarns…. Cashmere sock yarn is my favourite at present. I also love Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

The only yarn I really really hate is eyelash type yarn…urgh!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have some great tins from The Knit Tin, a round long one that holds my knitting pins and a rectangular one that holds scissors, gauge and all those other bits and bobs that I just can’t do without! The only problem is that the one that holds the needles isn’t quite long enough for the longest pins so I can’t use the lid!
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learnt when I was a wee girl from my Grandma but gave up very shortly after! I taught myself again from a book about two years ago, shortly after discovering I was pregnant with my daughter. My love for knitting just continues to grow and there is nothing that I wont try. Hence I would call myself an advanced beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have the humble beginnings of a wish list on Amazon.co.uk.

5. What's your favorite scent?

It’s so hard to choose…. I adore both vanilla and lavender but I also can’t keep my hands off fruity stuff that I’m sure is meant for teenage girls rather than Mum’s in their 30’s!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Who doesn’t?! I have family in the USA so my favourite memories of childhood holidays were discovering all the sweets in the supermarkets! I loved ‘fruit roll-ups’, ‘Wonka’ candy and anything grape flavoured!(We don’t get anything like that here in the UK) I was thrilled when m&m’s came out over here but they never do those massive bags that my Aunt sends at Christmas! Basically, I LOVE sweets and chocolate, but fruity sweets are the way to win my heart!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don’t spin nor do I have any inclination to try. I have tried crochet but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it! I’ve had a cross-stitch kit on the go for the last 10 years! I have recently tried hand dying sock yarn with Kool-Aid which is great but I would like to get some Acid dyes to create stronger colours.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Yes we have the ability to play MP3’s, I’m hoping to get an Ipod soon!

My kind of music? What an impossible question to answer! I like all sorts, most things except for most of the rubbish that’s in the charts!! I sound just like my Mum, that must mean I’m getting old!

I love 80’s stuff, some 90’s tracks and recently, although I can’t believe I’m admitting this in public, I’ve developed a liking for soppy 70’s tracks, in particular The Carpenters! There, I’ve said it….. please forgive me!!! Sssshh, don’t tell anyone!

I like a lot of the popular Classical stuff interspersed with some Robbie Williams, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones. A very eclectic mix.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Thankfully I love pink, all sorts of shades from baby pink right up to bright cerise. I say thankfully as my DD wears nothing but!

As my love for variegated sock yarns grow, I particularly love bluey/greeny/turquoisey colourways.

There really aren’t any colours I wouldn’t touch…perhaps dark brown but other than that I’m not fussy!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I’m very happily married, have one gorgous girl (16 months old) and have 3 step children who visit 2 out of 3 weekends. They are 16, 13 and 9 so we often find it very difficult to keep both a 16 year old and a 16 month amused!

Our mad house is made complete with our 3 cats who have decided the only way they’re going to get any attention is by meowing at 5 in the morning!!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes to all except Ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks! And anything for my DD as they are small so are finished quickly!

13. What are you knitting right now?

MS3 (is there anyone that isn’t?!), Universal toe-up socks using hand dyed yarn (my first attempt at toe-up), some stupid elephant toy for my DD that is really cute but I hate it!!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I’m going to say yes for this one but the honest truth is that I don’t know! No-one I know is in the least bit crafty so have never received anything hand made. I imagine that I would love anything made with me in mind as I know how long it takes to make gifts! Of course any gifts I have made have been given to non-crafty people who tend to under-appreciate them..I would love to make a gift for someone who knew how much love (and sometimes blood, sweat and tears!) went into ther gift!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I’m not fussy! It is nice to work on a wide piece on circulars and I always work socks on one teeny tiny circular but other than that I have no preference. I would love to try bamboo needles sometime, never tried plastic (not sure I want to either!).

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a ball winder but I am absolutely desperate for a swift. I keep trying to persuade DH to make me one but no luck so far!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About 8 months old. I started a blankie when a very good friend told me she was pregnant. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage and I just can’t bring myself to frog it or to finish it. I really don’t know what to do with it!

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas by far. I always get very excited and love to have twinkly lights all over the house. We always put our tree up very early and I sing carols as I wrap presents. I’d love to visit Austria/Germany for the traditional Christmas markets and one day I’ll make it to New York for my Christmas shopping!

I really do think I must have American blood in me somewhere…. I love everything about Christmas, especially decorating the outside of the house (tastefully of course!) but that is often frowned upon here in the UK!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

The plain and simple answer is no!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Oooooh, what a question… I have so many things I want to try! If only I could win the lottery! I would love to have some Lantern Moon needles, some glass needles, some Brittany Birch dpn’s (do they do teeny tiny circular’s too?!). Most of my needles came from a job lot off Ebay when I first started so would love to replace them all with beautiful pins!

I’d like to try some bamboo yarn, also maybe a small item in sari silk. One day I WILL buy myself some Socks that Rock yarn! I also fancy some Opal Feelings yarn too.

I can never have enough books…. I love books, any books! I’ve got my eye on both the Sensational Knitted Socks books. I also love Debbie Bliss and Zoe Mellor patterns for my DD.

I'd also like to subscribe to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Entrelac is high on my list, along with improving my crochet skills. I’d like to make a big snuggly afghan on eday. As I said earlier, I really want to try hand dying with Acid dyes. I’d also like to have a go at rug-making (latch hook), I did some as a teenager and quite enjoyed it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Ooooh yes! I love knitting socks! I am a size 3.5 (UK)

23. When is your birthday?

January 3rd – 9 days after Christmas and I hate it!

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes and isn’t it great? I go by the name of MuppetMummy.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My favourite waste of time

You know, I spend an awful amount of time reading other people's blogs. And, invariably, after 3 hours of looking at beautiful objects people have knitted, I wonder why I don't have anything to show off on my blog.

Clearly, apart from the obvious time spent blogging, there must be other reasons why I don't get as much knitting done as I might like?

This is the first reason. Please excuse the absolutely horrific picture of me and my fat arms! I wanted to show you my beautiful step-daughter learning how to 'purl'! She and her brother are with us for lots of the summer holiday and I think she decided 'if you can't beat em, join em!' Her nan has taught her how to knit and she looks so awkward but she tries really hard. She was getting a bit bored with 'knit' every row so she asked me to teach her how to purl... she took to it like a duck to water! Her needles were flying much faster than mine do on a purl row and not a dropped stitch in sight!! I like to think it was the way I taught her but it's probably coincidence!

However, spending time with her did mean that I got very very little of my own knitting done! The constant 'I think I've gone wrong' comments did sort of hamper my attempts at the toe-up sock. I've already frogged the first sock as it was too big although it had taken me to the heel to decide it was too big!

And here is my most favouritest waste of time.....completely unsolicited pics of my baby girl on her first day out at the beach today and in the garden!

If I spent just a little less time marvelling at how wonderful and amazing she is, and more time knitting, I'd get so much more done..... but then again, I can't think of a better way to spend my day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Secret Pal 11

Yippee! I have finally recieved my confirmation email for Secret Pal 11. I signed up on July 3rd but there was a problem with the sign ups. I have been frantically checking my in box waiting for confirmation that I haven't missed the deadline and today was the lucky day!
I've never done a swap before so I'm a bit nervous about getting my pal something they like but if they're anything like me, they'll be thrilled that someone out there has thought about them!
Unfortunately sign-ups have now closed so you'll just have to watch to see what I get!! I can't wait to get going!!