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

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!!!