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

Friday, March 28, 2008

What goes around comes around

I had a lovely surprise in the post today. It's really made my day at the end of a pretty grotty week.

A while ago Vic contacted me to ask if I had any yarn left from the Round Dishcloth as she was crocheting a sweater for her niece and was running out of yarn. I'd bought a pack of six balls from Lidl and it was only 100% cotton so it was very cheap. So, of course I sent as much as she needed plus a bit...just in case!

Fast foward to today. Vic sent me a lovely parcel to say thank you!

In it was a cute card with Iced Gems on (do you remember those?), a bag of very tasty , very posh white chocolate raspberry eggs, a lovely little suitcase with choc eggs inside and a stunningly beautiful crocheted book mark.

I'm already tucking into the posh chocs! The book mark will be used in my knitting books which I have a habit of leaving open so the spine gets knackered and the little tin will be used for stitch markers etc when pickle has eaten all the chocs!

I certainly hadn't expected anything in return for the yarn so thank you SO much for the parcel Vic! Vic doesn't have a blog but here is her Ravelry page. Isn't that sweater cute?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Buy one, get one free. Or in Gracie's case, knit one, get one free!

Back on Halloween, I showed you some Trekking XXL that Jomp's girls, Jess & Gracie had dyed. Jess is now at the toe of her first sock and doing really well...I'm thrilled for her!

Gracie, being only 10, wanted to do her own socks but as she has yet to finish her first scarf in chunky wool, I said I'd do them for her:

Pattern: Knee Socks from Streets & YO's
Yarn: Gracie's Hand-dyed Trekking XXL & oddments of Opal Uni 4ply. Colourway: Purple, pink
Needles: 2.5mm Addi Turbo 12" circular
Size: Size 6ish uk + made to measure around Gracie's calf
Knit for: Gracie
Comments: My first knee socks and I love them. I adapted the pattern slightly as Gracie is shorter than the average adult women so made the calf increases slightly closer than than the pattern calls for. That said, the socks are just a little shorter than I wanted! I also used the sewn bind off which take's forever but my normal cast off in rib is soooo tight!

I had quite a bit of yarn left and wanted to treat her as she's having a bit of a hard time at the mo, so here is a little sock pouch that she'll fill with trinkets or shells or whatever she's into this weekend!

Pattern: Soft Drawstring pouch by Joelle Hoverson from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts Yarn: As Above!
Needles: 2.5mm Addi Turbo 12" Circular
Size: One size
Knit for: Gracie's socks!
Comments: I love this little bag! What else is there to say?

She'll be arriving in half an hour for the long weekend and no doubt I'll have to remind her to take them off so they can be washed!

All that remains now is for me to wish you all a very Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny is kind to you!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cake! Oh and a bit of knitting!

Today is my little pickle's 2nd birthday. I can't quite believe that it was 2 years ago today that she was dragged from my belly. Stubborn even in the womb, she was a breech baby who refused to be turned so a caesarian it was.

Stubborn, she still is! I have been waiting 2 whole years for someone, anyone, to tell me that she looks like me. But no. I'm still waiting! Her temperament though, is mine, all mine! She is stubborn, independant, headstrong, intelligent. She gets her sense of humour and her quickness to laugh from her Daddy.

So today we had cake and she played in her new play house.


In knitting news, remember my knitting resolutions? I said that I wanted to try some form of colour work. Having searched Ravelry and also bought some yarn off a fellow Ravelry member, I deciced to try the Fake Isle Hat:

Pattern: Fake Isle Hat by Amy King published in MagKnits
Yarn: 1 skein Dale of Norway Heilo & 2 half skeins of Noro Kureyon
Needles: 4mm Boyes Interchangeable 16" circular & 3.75mm DPN's (don't own any 4mm!)
Size: Smallest
Knit for: ?Me
Comments: I practised knitting continentally first so that I could hold one colour in each hand using TECHknitter's advice. This wasn't as difficult as I first thought and I really enjoyed watching the pattern appear as if by magic. My tension was nice and even. That is until I had to switch to DPN's after the crown decreases. Then I really struggled with the tension, especially where I had to carry floats from the end of one DPN to the beginning of another.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty pleased with this hat. I love the way the Kureyon changes. The hat is a bot big and it's not really my colours but hey ho, if I ever go skiing it will be perfect!

This is certainly not my last attempt at fair isle!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sock Blockers Rock!

A good while back I left a comment on Lixie's blog as she had mentioned that someone had contacted her to say that sock blockers might be available in the UK soon. I was thrilled and left a comment saying so. Time passes. I forgot about the comment.

Then I had an email from someone saying that it was her and her husband who had started producing sock blockers. She asked if I'd be willing to test a prototype blocker and maybe write a small review for use on their eBay shop. Was I willing? Well, as you can guess, I jumped at the chance!

Nicky then sent me a prototype blocker in my size and I set to work!

The blockers are made in sustainable birch ply wood and then varnished with/without the birch tree logo.

Anyway, what did I think of the blocker?

Well, I've always wanted sock blockers but thought they were a lot of money for things you dry wet socks on! However, when mine arrived I was surprised by how weighty it was, and the thickness of it. No flimsy thing here, this little beauty is a good half an inch thick and beautifully finished.

For scientific purposes, I hand washed two pairs of my hand knits. I dried one of each pair on the blocker and the other one was dried flat.

Having never blocked socks before, the difference was amazing. In both the blocked socks the patterns were really opened up and much more visible. The Hedera on the right a just a tad snug but after blocking the sock was much more comfortable to wear. My cast on for toe down socks is always a bit tight but again, blocking relieved some of this tension making the socks easier to put on.

Let me just mention that I am in no way connected to Nicky or her shop Wightwood Sock Blockers and I'm sure that any well made sock blockers perform just as well as my prototype.

That said, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these blockers and I think it's nice to support a British company, not too far down the road from me as they start a new venture. I'm even going to order the 2nd blocker from them so I have a matching pair!

So, if you fancy treating yourself to some sock blockers, give Wightwood Sock Blockers a try! They even do children's sizes, starting at newborn, to give those gift socks a professional look!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

To all Mums out there, I wish you a Happy Mothers Day.

This is my third Mothers Day with Pickle in my life. Since her arrival I have valued my Mum so much more than I ever did. It seems to take being a mum yourself to truly appreciate what your mum has done for you over the years.

Since I am adopted, my mum didn't get up with me in the night for feeds and nappy changes. She didn't see my first smile or hear my first word. She didn't witness my first steps or take me to school for the first time.

But she loved me when it seemed that no-one else would. She told me that I was important when no-one else cared. She opened her heart and let her love surround me, wrapping me in it's warmth and keeping me safe.

Most people aren't able to choose their mum. It's a lucky dip if you get a good one or not. I was able to choose mine. And I chose good. My mum doesn't even know I have a blog but nevertheless, I will say it here, I love you Mum. Thanks for all that you do, all that you have done, and all that you will do. I couldn't have picked a better mum.