Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm still here

Hi folks!

I know I haven't blogged for months but I suppose life has really taken it out of me. That doesn't mean I'm not following online, just don't have the will to participate at the moment much.
It's still inspiring to see what you guys are making though. My attention span is a little short at the moment and I need to sleep a lot so actual "me" time is not that common.

For those playing catch up.......

This little bean is the reason why! This was done 3 weeks ago and was dated at 13weeks. Which makes me 16 weeks tomorrow and my delivery date as the 21st May. Hoorah!

Things are getting slowly easier, I'm hoping the good hormones will kick in over the next few weeks so I can take on a bit of glow and have some energy back.

Once I get myself more together creatively I'll do a post worthy of knitting attention ;o). Mostly though I've been spinning here and there which I've found more therapeutic. I made some great fingerless mittens that lace up from my handspun which willbe gifted to my sister. Once I get the ribbon for them I'll photograph em and put em up.

And now it's bed time.....


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Swap Parcel update

I managed to retrieve my UKSwap parcel today from the depths of the Royal Mail postal depot and was utterly thrilled to see the contents. My swap partner was flapjack (ravelry name)- thankyou so much!!!! I cannot believe that you got me things I just love!

This is the entire parcel here:

As you can see there's chocolate, silk garden sock yarn, a 'lightning' plant, needle felted hedgehog, baby alpaca fibre a charm made from microscope slides and my theme pic and.... a ball winder- Something I've harped on about wanting forever! How generous is Helen?!!!

Here's a few close up pics... I was tired last night so they're taken while I'm actually in bed. LOL

Here's the baby alpaca fibre- something I haven't tried to spin on it's own before but my god is it scrummy!!!!

This 'lightning' plant is a carnivorous plant! My DB had been wanting something like this for ages... boys and morbid curiosity ya know how it is! So I said if he wanted to grow it then I'd let him. It's also something to do with me being rubbish with plants ;o)

This is the needle felted hedgehog which is just darn cute! He's very sheepy smalling so I think he was from natural fleece.

This is the noro silk garden sock yarn. This is so lovely. I'm not a sock gal but it's pretty enough to make something else with. I'm in baby knitting mode at the moment as my brother in law's sister (you get that?) is almost 20 weeks now. I think she's going to ask the sex of the baby so if it's a girl this would be ideal for some of these bootees or these mary jane style ones- Just. So. Cute.

Here's just a few things I've been spinning up lately. I've finished the 'Sexy' fibre batts which are here:

It's basically pink sparkle, black slippery stuff I assume to be nylon-y or silk, pink and red wool. I'm terrible at deciding what is which fibre, but I'm getting better I think. This is very thick and thin as there are neps in the batt so it's sort of worsted weight but variable!

Here is something I've started:

This is alpaca, silk and merino. No sparkle in this one. It is so gorgeous and soft though- I think the brown is alpaca as it's quite lofty and got a halo to it, the pink I think is merino and the creamy white is the silk. I've aimed to get this about sportweight and I have two more batts of this so hopefully enough for a scarfy project or mittens.

Due to unexpected fibre stash enhancement I also have started a little of the baby alpaca to see how it spins up:

Again, I'm aiming for sportweight/4ply to get the most I can out of it. I'm not normally an 'orange' person but I totally love this . The alpaca is not that hard to spin and it's so fluffy. In fact I bought another orangey batt (shhh DB thinks it was a present) which is rusty orange, browns and foresty green.

Oh.... I do have some news. It's totally fresh up to date news which is a novelty where I'm concerned. I found out on friday that I'm pregnant. Only 5 weeks. It's not even official as far sa going to the doctors and stuff like that, so I haven't told anyone in my family. DB is a bit reluctant to say the least- while he'd never say to not have the baby I think he would have wanted to wait a while longer and is going to take some time to come to terms with things. I'm excited but wary- I want him to want the baby so I'll look after myself as best I can in the mean time and when he's ok with things (or at least says the word baby as he hasn't yet) I'll talk to our family. I'm going to try and get to the doctors this week because they have to take a urine sample and send it off (like anyone is silly enough to lie about being pregnant). I really want to tell people as I'm the worlds worst secret keeper but I would understand him being upset if I told people before he's ready. It throws more spanners in the works but I've wanted another baby for ages whether it's practical or not!

Well, best go and eat something... my tummy is growling for food. I just cannot eat as soon as I get up and I tend to leave it a bit longer than intended when I'm running around after Seth. Yesterday I was feeling queasy, though it's more likely to be psychological- I don't think we're supposed to feel the morning sickness for a few more weeks are we?

Well goodbye for now,

Monday, September 08, 2008

handmade rocks!

As in handmade stuff 'rocks' not handmade stones ;o)

Got my UKSwap prize from nic's etsy shop today :oD

Isn't it gorgeous? I love the funky print, it's co-ordinated and cool. Amazing how she made these with her own bare hands just for me!

Seeing as I was on etsy.... I managed to stray upon one of my other fave sellers- FeltStudioUK. Her stuff is beautiful too. I ordered this even though I shouldn't have ;o)

Isn't it lush- I love the combination of burnt orange and petrol/grey. I saw it and couldn't resist. I've spun up 2 out of 3 lots I've bought from her so far so I guess I'm not so bad at hoarding fibre!

Well, being back at work sucks! Also, I got locked out of my house because my nephew who is staying with me borrowed my keys and then also took my DB out so no-one was in when I got home with Seth. I ended up getting Db's stepdad to pick us up for an hour. hmph!

Have a nive week everyone,

Friday, September 05, 2008

just a few pics

Well I didn't trip over or fall off the stage and all went well!
Just a quick post before I have to put Seth to bed and then I have babysitters (god bless nephews and their girlfriends) to look after him while Dan (DB) takes me out for a meal!

Here is me at the uni after getting my robes:

This is the proud parents:

Here is my little man congratulating me when I got home:

As soon as we get back from our meal we will be present wrapping- it's Seth's 2nd birthday tomorrow! How time flies.

Good night

Class of '08

Today I graduate from uni. Me- very very nervous! I haven't eaten yet this morning my stomach is in knots because I don't like stages or people watching me or anything like that. I'm taking my mom and dad with me and, as Seth is too young to be carted around with us, Dan (DB) is staying at home with him.

Now, I've been studying forever for this degree! Instead of 4 part-time years it's taken 6! Having Seth and vile depressing Honours Project of Doom saw to that! But, I have no regrets and I'm happy I stuck with it. There are 3 of us from work who are graduating today and we're going to be the last 3 for some time as our department isn't taking any more trainees while the shift hours haven't been implemented or decided properly.

Also.... I had a letter from the university yesterday- they're fantastic at giving you very little notice- saying that I have won a university prize. The letter invites me and my guests (mom and dad) to the prizewinners reception after the graduation ceremony. I don't even know what the prize is! Knowing Wolverhampton University it will be something lame but I'm on a bit of a winning streak lately! Maybe I should put a £1 on the lottery!

I really didn't sleep much last night but my head is buzzing and the adrenaline has me thinking "what if the queues for the robes are really long?" and "what will I do if trip and make an arse out of myself?" etc etc.

Anyhoo, I have to go and smarten up because I'm pretty sure they wont let my collect my degree certificate in PJs and a fluffy dressing gown- even if it does have pink hearts all over it! Snazzy!

No doubt I'll post soon.... my UKSwap parcel is due any day now and I'm sure my dad will have many many pics from the digital camera!!!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yay I won something!

Just catching up on my emails and such as I have been busy and found that I'm now the owner of the Treasure Hunt prize on UKSwap!

This is the same pic that is on the UKSwap site but aren't they beautiful?! I love the bags in this etsy shop.
The fabrics are so gorgeous!

Thankyou to the UKSwap team- Delle and Roo for hosting the swap this year and for (albeit randomly) picking me for the winner!

OK, too tired to type anything else but will post soon. As soon as I find the USB lead for my laptop I'll be able to post about my own achievements with my very own photos!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Contain yourselves....

.... for the big news I have.
I'm a qualified Biomedical Scientist! WOOOHOOO!

There said it. It's been a darn hectic few weeks hence the lack of posting or online activity. I'd pretty much banned myself from using the internet whilst working as I get distracted and 2 hours later I'd still be looking at yarn and patterns and no further ahead. Lets get the formalities out of the way first....

This weeks UKSwap Question:
Films is the topic this week:

Do you prefer to watch films at home or at the cinema?
Both. I love going to the cinema and scoffing popcorn, drinking far too much coca cola and almost fainting when the guy at the pick and mix stand tells you how much it is. Also.. I love watching an old fave on the sofa with my favourite blanket, cuppa, sweets/biscuits/cake.
What is the last film you saw?
Embarrassing..... In her shoes with Cameron Diaz in. I'm not usually one for heartwarming dramas that make you cry but I loved it and yes I cried at the end!
Have you seen any films more than 10 times? If so which ones and why.
Any of the original Star Wars... Armageddon (close to 50)... xXx anyone who loves Vin Diesel will know why ;o) fact anything with Vin Diesel in I've watched at least 10 times!... Coyote Ugly... Usual Suspects... Dogma...
What film do you recommend that people should see?
That's a tough one... Dogma. Funny, weird, has a message.
If you could be any character from a film who would it be?
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)- She got to snog Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Lush (if now about 70)

Any other news? Er well no. I haven't had much of a life lately so not a lot going on really. I've joined the Secret of the Stole 3 KAL which I'm excited and nervous about. I'm not mega experienced with lace, but I thought that the staged KAL might suit me. However, I do think I'll fall hopelessly behind and be lagging behind all those experienced people. Ah well.

I've chosen plum Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight with a mixture of lilac and irredescent clear beads, got my 1mm crochet hook, completed a swatch in malabrigo whilst waiting impatiently for yarn, started another in project yarn. Almost ready! The first piece of the pattern is out Friday 15th August.

Well, I'm catching up on Private Practice (Grey's Anatomy spin off) while Seth naps.... oh the quiet!


Friday, July 11, 2008

2 post in one day?

Surely not ;o)

Here's my UK Swap Question 5:
Quick fire questions this week, based on a game I've played with friends whilst on (very long) car journeys!
Choose one - don't think just choose...

1. Stop or go? Go
2. Going out or Staying in? Staying in
3. Small town or big city? Small town
4. Happy or sad? Sad
5. Straights or Circulars? Straights
6. Red or Blue? Red
7. Seaside or countryside? Seaside
8. Fish or chips? Fish
9. Surprises or plans? Surprises
10. Wine or beer? Wine
11. Sweaters or cardigans? Cardigans
12. Pizza or Pasta? Pasta
13. Chopsticks or fork? Fork
14. Early Bird or Night Owl? Early bird
15. Knitting or crochet? Knitting
16. Hot or cold? Hot

And now for the picture part of this quiz (copied from a meme that's going around at the moment)
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

I chose these not really thinking about whether they would go together but I think they do! In fact I've got it as my desktop right now!

Well, thats as much as I can give out right now.... I'm all posted out for today!

long time no see

Hi guys

thought I'd drop anot to say that no, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.... I'm just a busy girl right now. In fact, i'm at work this very moment trying to get a short post in because I know I just need to update the world!

I've got loads of catching up to do with the UK Swap thing which is just unfortunate since I loved being in last year's swap and just finding being a full participant really hard right now. I was hoping that I'd be able to get into things by the end of July but my assessment has been pushed back by the assessor til August.... so dragging out the assessment means I have less free time again.

I do have a few picture updates though.

I have almost finished the Simply Knitting cabled cardi:

This is scrunched up because I'm trying to knit the rib which goes all the way around the fronts and neck. There is about 290 stitches and I hate rib especially when it's hard going. The ball you see is what I have left of the Fleece Artist Scotian Silk I made the cardi with so I dont think I'm going to have enough to do the sleeve rib. At £16 a hank not only will I have a very expensive sleeve ribbing but the hanks have about 360m so it's a bit overkill! The sleeves are batwing-y so might just see what they look like without or find an alternative to neaten them.... answers in an email please!!! :o)

This is just a closeup of the lacy cable rib which is on the fronts.

This is a new project which I started las week. A crochet cardi from the same Simply Knitting mag i have made the other red cardi from. Unfortunately I have broken my 3.50mm crochet hook so I put a plea bargain on Ravelry to see if anyone has a spare before I buy another.

And here is me when I'm not at work/home/being mum. It's a work night out about 6weeks ago... I'm going to a doctors ball next saturday which should be fun... can't wait to let my hair down just a little bit!

Off to work now it's nearly 9am!
I'll catch up on UK Swap stuff in my next post!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a busy month!

Hi there!

Sorry to you guys who think I've dropped off the end of the earth!!!!! I am preparing for my portfolio assessment and my interview. The interview for my job is monday (re-grade and contrsct update) and the assessment will be somewhere in the week starting 14th July. Meaning I have about 3 weeks to finish my folder that is about 2/3rds completed. Eeeeeeeek.

Enough about work.... it eats enough of my life already!

I'm a bit late posting this but....
Question 1: WWKIP day
On Saturday I knit at my mum's house. Not quite public but I had Seth and grocery shopping too! Oh how exciting my life is ;o)
I knit regularly at work so I guess that is public and I used to love going to a knit group but sadly I dont go now.
Weirdest place..... er.... well at a haematology seminar at Birmingham NEC is probably the strangest event. I knit in the bathroom when Seth is in the bath too which may be a little obsessive but it's rare I get time to knit in the day at home!

Also... I know several people tagged me for a questionnaire..... er I'll be honest and say I'm too tired and over worked to be bothered!!! Sorry. I think if something less comprehensive comes up I'll have a go ;o)

I'm on the right front of the Simply knitting cream caramel cardi... though I'm knitting it in Scotian silk in red that I got when I went to Ravelry day at The Crafty Cottage. I'm praying I'll have enough but if not I think it'll be when I do the ribbing on the cardi edges/neck so I'll maybe stripe it with another colour and do the same on the sleeve ribbing. Great thing about this cardi is that there are no sleeves to make as such, as the increases are built into the back and made in a sort of batwing affair. Hurrah! I'll post pics when I can.

Right, I'll try and keep up with the UK Swap questions and post weekly now, but doesn't time get away so quickly!!!

See ya for now, Fi x

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bank Holiday curse

Don't you just love Bank Holiday weather?! It is raining as I type and looking generally grim. Plans of gardening gone awry, no visits to the duckpond or Seth playing on the slide. On the upside- no gardening and I don't have to waste water using a hosepipe since Mother Nature is doing its thing.

Also.... Bank Holidays are so busy. I would have more rest at work! Yesterday, Seth had a social engagement (birthday party) to attend and of course I'm the chaperone on his arm ;o) and he has another on Monday as it is my niece's birthday on the 28th. As you can see, he dressed to impress

And here he is making another cheeky face for the camera.... such a star!

I have managed some progress this week. I haven't been knitting much over the last few weeks, work and necessary resting haven't left me with much patience or inspiration. However, on friday I decided to spin the second half of the 'beach' fibre I got from FeltStudioUK on etsy. I managed to spin it all and get it plied with the first batch too. A late night... but worth it!

It is still a little bit wet here but turned out good for my first real effort since I started spinning a few years ago. I'd just washed it and hung it to dry, but had lots of great advice from the guys on the UKSpinners group on ravelry. Next time I'll try the shock and whack method which is what most people seem to do. I'm not sure why, but physically torturing yarn seems a bit sadistic though I suppose it's a better way for relieving your frustration that some therapies ;o)

I finished the second front on the hexacomb cardigan this morning. I think if I dedicated a bit more time to the project it would be done in no time at all.... ah well. It's easy enough to pick up and put down so the rest of the back and sleeves plus neckbands are left.

Right.... to finish up, since watching CSI:NY is just takes so much attention ;o) I urge all you guys to join UK Swap... sign ups end soon and the more the merrier!!! The blog button is on my sidebar- click it, click it now!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

UK Swap round 2 questionnaire

Part One: Crafting

Do you knit, crochet, or both?


What do you like to make?

Cardigans mostly for practicality, lacy scarves, fingerless mittens

Do you have a favourite project?

My Dahlia sweater is my favourite project to date

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?

I love knitting with wool but I’m allergic to 100% wool or animal fibre. Blends are better for me.

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?

Squeaky acrylic

Do you do any other crafts?

I spin with a drop spindle and I’d like to learn how to sew properly.

Do you knit in public? If so where do you like knitting and what is your "portable" project?

I like to knit in public but currently I’m without a regular group. I drag along any project that is easy enough to concentrate on without making too many mistakes. Unfortunately I’m not much of a sock knitting person.

What do you carry your "portable" knitting in?

One of the many felted bags I’ve knitted

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?

I really would love a yarn swift and ball winder (swoons) and would like a really good 1 skein book.

Part Two: Your Favourites
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?

I’d be a something colourful and feltable. Scratchy maybe at first (I’m shy) but then softens and becomes functional and useful in a heated situation ;o) Probably noro kureyon without the pricetag!!

What is your favourite colour?

Err.... I like purple a lot and cherry reds.

What is your least favourite colour?


What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?

I don’t like vanilla/caramelly smells . I’m not keen on white chocolate and hate pear drops!

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)

I love good scrubs that make you feel clean, soft and pampered and nice bath products for those rare moments I have time for a good long soak.

What goodies to you like to eat? (chocolate, biscuits, sweets,crisps etc)

I’m a quality not quantity chocolate person so good dark chocolate and love biscuits.

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind?

I drink tea mostly at home (regular tea) but while I’m out I’m a Starbucks fanatic!

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts,


I like to watch films (anything from sci-fi to action to cheesy chickflicks) and my recorded episodes of Moonlight/Blood Ties/Heroes/CSI:NY/How to look good naked. I also like to listen to rock music or the odd podcast at cast off.

Part Three: About you, Living & Past-times
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?

I’d be a something colourful and feltable. Scratchy maybe at first (I’m shy) but then softens and becomes functional and useful in a heated situation ;o) Probably noro kureyon without the pricetag!!

Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)

I live in the West Midlands (near Birmingham)

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?

I have always lived in the West Midlands but changed towns a few times

What is your favourite place in the UK?

I loved Cornwall as a kid and really enjoyed a stay in Edinburgh too.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’d love to travel to Prague for the architecture; Egypt for the pyramids; Cuba for the mohitos!

What other hobbies do you have?

I like to read, watch TV and films, spin, have just learnt crochet, like to cook (mainly cakes!) and trying my best to learn to sew properly.

Part Four: The Theme
As part of this swap we are asking you to post (or link to) a picture or photograph you like. Your swap pal will use the photo as a basis for a themed item or parcel.
It could be of a specific item, e.g. Jellybeans, an Alpaca, a rainbow or a scene e.g. sunset, beach, woodland or anything else you can think of! Please add a few words to explain why you have chosen the photo if you think this is appropriate.
It could be a photo you have taken or a picture you have found on the internet. Please note - if the picture is not yours please ensure you seek permission from the owner before posting it on your blog. Alternatively, you can link to the original picture.

(That is the original link for the picture.)

I used this picture because not only does it show beautiful colours, but I am fascinated by adverse weather and how amazing and dangerous nature can be. Since a lot of knitted items are made us to protect us from the elements I thought a weather picture would be apt. I don’t expect miraculous lightning proof knits though ;o) but I thought the colours were particularly pretty.

Final Part:
Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)? I’m allergic to kiwi and 100% animal fibre yarns like wool and alpaca which make me itch and anything with a high angora content makes me sneeze and feel like I have a cold! Plant/acrylic/wool blends seem to be just fine.

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?

I’d like my partner to know I have a quirky sense of humour and like patterns which show my individuality but also like classically beautiful things also.

I think that is it! Yay UK swaps!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pimp it up!!!

Hi guys sorry about the lack of blogging!

I'm making a short shout out to everyone that reads my blog to say:

UK Swap are up and about for round 2!!! YAY!

Please please please go and visit the UK Swap blog and have a look, the requirements are massive and as long as you are UK based you can join! Also.... please say in the comments I sent you!!! There is a contest going atm and everyone is entered in for some Socks That Rock yarn if they post a blog post or get a comment on the Swap site! It's all fair and I'll be commenting that I found out about it from Roo before actually looking at the Swap site. Unfortunately she can't have it as she's one of the new swap hosts.

Good luck Roo!!!!

Catch ya later.... x

Monday, May 05, 2008


Seriously people- I could cry right now! I finished my gift Branching Out for my great aunt’s 80th birthday last night and 5 minutes ago I thought I’d go and block it for photos etc and wrap it up. BIG MISTAKE. Since I generally use the iron for stuff like this…. well it looks like cotton, feels like cotton, knits like cotton….. I forgot it isnt cotton but maize. It also melts. Turns crispy, and spiky kind of melting. It took me months to finish this between the zillion other projects and I don’t have enough time to make another. My mum is going to donate the 100% silk mini clapotis I made her as said aunt hasn’t seen it before. I dont know whether to be grateful or insulted that she’d give it away but still. :”o(

I'm now in no mood whatsoever to be taking pictures etc etc, but I'll make my little progress report:
Hexacomb cardigan: Finished Left Front and ready to re-join yarn to right front.
Jose's handwarmers: about 80% done on the first mitt but not entirely positive I have enough silk garden for both. I got this via UKarma and only have 1 ball. The pattern uses 1 ball of kureyon so I thought it would be enough. I'm reluctant now to finish it and start the other in case I end up frogging them,.
Crosswalkers: I've turned the heel and nearly ready to do the toe on sock#1

New project: Bronte's mitts for the Fingerless Gloves Fanatics group on ravelry. I have completed the rib section of the mitt and ready to start a lace section . These are the May KAL project for the group so it will definately be a challenge to get these done before the end of the month! Normal people can make these in a few days, but with my life interfering far too much with knitting it'll be a struggle.

I'm going to curl up into the fetal position now and sob on the very immediate loss I've just suffered. Damn it!! Damn it!! Damn it!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boo here I am!

Hey guys!

I know I've been hiding for 2 weeks but... o.k. don't have much of an excuse to be honest. There has been way too much time on the laptop swapping on ravelry and still I couldn't quite be bothered to blog. Life happens huh.

I have had some great parcels over the last few weeks though! UKarma swaps is the best/worst thing in my little knitting lifetime at the moment. I find so much support, inspiration and of course yarn (!) from these guys.... but the knitting itself has taken a bit of a knock! I have finished a my fetching mittens though...

I have to say that I absolutely L.O.V.E. these mitts! I'm glad that I forced myself to get them off the needles; 1000 modifications and all; and make them to fit me. I've had lots of lovely comments about them too... so many that I have a long list of non-knitting people who want wristwarmers. Ahhh well I know what everyone i getting for birthdays and christmasses! Trouble is it's nearly the end of spring.... well actually no it isn't is it? Not in rainy england anyway.

And so I have cast on a pair of 'Extra Warm Kureyon Wristers' from ravelry pattern library for my sister Jose. Only I've used Noro Silk Garden I got from UKarma swaps. Jose saw this yarn at my mums a few weeks ago (I'd been to the PO depot to get a zillion parcels) and claimed it for some wristwarmers. See not all the yarn is for me! The colour is a purple/rusty orange/grey colourway.

I have been making slow painstaking progress on the Hexacomb cardigan too. Trouble is with this project atm is that there is 194 stitches on the 4mm circular addi. All of which are 100% cotton and non stretchy. In turn I get massive cotton related RSI in my right thumb and could cry after about 3 rows. Also, the purlside row has to be counted and patterned so can't just zip bacwards and forwards. I think after another inch or so I can separate the fronts and back and it will be easier going for me. I like the pattern to look at and making it because I love the style of the cardi. I knew all along that I'd hate knitting it though!

I am a bit further along than this- I took this pic for the ravelry project avatar. I've nearly finished the ball of cotton. This particular brand has got 200m or so to a ball and I've nearly got to the AH without changing balls; even if it's a cropped cardi I'm impressed.

I've also taken a little trip to fibreville. I was sorting stash for swaps last week and found my turqoise merino... started spinning it just because I could and all that.... and now have this:


I bought this from an etsy store (first etsy purchase) called Felt Studio UK. I was a bit nervous though goodness knows why- maybe the $ thing or never using it before but the service was amazing. Bought it thursday evening- here saturday morning. The rosewood colourway is bigger, but I got both plus p&p for about $33... about £17. I was well impressed with the quality and softness, plus as I started spinning the 'beach' last night it was way easier than spinning the merino. In fact I've spun about 1/3 of the beach already! I've already had a look at her stuff again. Oh dear. Well the great spring destash has made some room at least. In fact I paid with th fibre from some yarn-cash in my paypal account- so didn't spend "real" money!

Ooh.... I had some yarn come last week which is fab. It's similar to malabrigo in texture and thickness:

The colour is less mauvey and more lilaccy but is so gorgeous. I'm thinking of making it into some of these or even these. Both are definately me!! Can you tell I've gotten cought up in some sort of wristwarmer disease? I've even joined the Fingerless Glove Fanatics on ravelry! They are hosting a May KAL and I've joined up... though I'm finding it hard to decide on what yarn to use. The pattern is 'Bronte's Mittts' and seems to need a DK weight though the pattern uses two strands of a mohair and koigu held together. Hmmmm. Still pondering and only have a few days til CO. Never done a KAL before either!

Right, Seth is demanding that I play with him.... he's covered in crayola markers.... you can hide the pens but he still manages to find them. At lease they're not on the walls ;o)

See ya x

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Destash

Hello there

Well, a little progess is more than none as they say.

This week, I have managed to finish and post the Kitchen swap items, get half way through Fetching Mitten #2 and I have cast on for the Hexacomb cardigan.

Through no fault of anyone but myself, I didn't really do as much Portfolio work as I really should have but I suppose that's no surprise! I really lack self discipline when I have no fixed deadline to work to. Unfortunately, when I get to work tomorrow I suspect that my deadline will have been set and I'll have just about a few weeks to get it finished and prepare myself for the Big Day. That is... being interviewed for my qualification. Nail biting stuff!

Well this is a little round up of this week's little achievements really. I haven't quite done enough on the Hexacomb cardi to warrant a picture- the fronts and backs are all cast on together then separated at the armholes, so casting on 194 stitches in mercerised cotton was a chore. Last night I managed to get about 18 rows of pattern done.

I did a little bit of baking midweek:

This here is banana cake. It was so yummy I literally ate half the cake before lunchtime! Good thing it's considered a 'low fat' recipe then! The recipe was just from a friend and not out of a book or anything so I don't suppose it'll hurt to tell ya ;o)

Banana Cake (Low fat- ish!)

3/4 cup Caster sugar (I used 'light' sugar which is 1/3 sweetener to cut down on the kcals)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup self-raising flour
3 eggs
3 bananas mashed
pinch bicarbonate of soda

*whisk oil and sugar together and add eggs
*add bananas
*fold in the flour and bicarb
*grease a loaf tin and pour in mixture
*180 degrees for 45 minutes, check middle with a knife, adding 10 mins as needed til the middle is firm
Voila. Don't burn yourself trying to eat it as soon s it's done ;o)

As part of the 'spring destash' I have been getting rid of odd balls and stash I'm bored with and such on ravelry.
It's gone surprisingly well and I've managed to send out quite a bit. I've just managed to sell some too which is a bonus. Although... I was supposed to be selling my spinning stuff too as I never get around to doing any. As you know... when you get it all out, you tend to try it out etc etc and never got around to destashing the fibre.... instead I got this done:

This is merino, which I'd never spun up before. It is as fine as I usually spin it, so will need plying for it to be of use to me, but I enjoyed doing something different. So I guess it's staying!

And lastly......

The new hair. I love it.

Check me out on ravelry if ya want, I'm the usual 'scarletprincess' on there. Please aid the destash :o)

Monday, April 07, 2008

purple rules! OK

Hey there!

I have a half-finished WIP (!) and an unlikely one at that.

Here is Fetching in her purple glory-ness. Iam making this pair in a yarn thinner than specified to create a more snug fit because I have teeny-tiny wrists and I about as much guessed that using the DB Cashmerino Aran would make them too big. Here I've used Rowan Calmer for elasticity, snugness, and a blend that won't make me itch.

Here is the thumb side view. I thought from reading the instructions that the thumb would be a b***h to do but it took me a matter of minutes to do really. I have altered the pattern to allow for Calmer being thinner by making the pattern repeat 8 rows long instead of five and I like the slightly longer cuff. I've cast on the second one too so I'm hoping to do these fairly quickly now. I first cast them on in January according to my Ravelry notes and just left them once I'd gotten to the long stretch w/o cables. I think the break will mean I wont suffer from SMS (second mitten syndrome) as the cables are the other way around on the right mitt and it's been ages since I started the left.

There is another reason I want to finish as many WIPs as possible this week.... I have a project lined up! I think the cloud bolero can be frogged- I have fell out of love with it :o( and the branching out scarf is my work WIP so they don't count. The kitchen swap creation has to be finished as it's already over deadline so I have that to do also.

Here are my projects that I think will be coming up soon....

The Hexacomb Cardigan- from interweave knits

I have already bought the DK cotton for this project! And buttons! I've got a dark cream for the main body of the cardi and a pearl/flat cream mix for the border. The buttons are cream with a patterned gold insert. I'm really psyched about starting this as it looks like such a versatile cardi and the colours were deliberate so that I can put it with pretty much anything. I just got Wendy Supreme Cotton DK as I think it will be as good as any other DK cotton to be honest and only needed 3 balls or 600m for the main colour so a bargain cardi really!

Secondly....the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan (again from interweave)

To those that know my taste, this may seem a little 'conservative'! However, I plan on leaving off the little sleeve tabs so that the sleeves are a little longer as there is no fold and ta-da!- a kimono sleeve cardi with lovely shaping under the bust to make it a bit more feminine! I think a few special buttons would really make it that bit funkier too. I've got some Katia Austral in a dark red for this which is a 50/50 merino/acrylic blend. How I love ebay :o)

Well, I'm gonna kick back with some tv and some chocolate pudding and custard and some knitting and have a cosy evening me thinks....
Good night x

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blog drought

Hi there!

I realise I've had a bit of a blogging drought lately. I'm still around and kicking up a storm, just very preoccupied with 'normal life' at the moment. Unfortunately, my knitting has suffered somewhat. I haven't done much knitting over the last few weeks since work has been a bit of a pig with the staff tea room being refurbished and all. This means I have no comfortable place to knit and those with kids know how impossible it is to knit at home with a zillion piles of washing, ironing and such. Also, my dad is awaiting his histology results for his skin cancer biopsies. He had them taken a while back during a small local op on his head to remove some patches of skin which were cancerous. The results are due friday and amongst a few other problems, this is on my mind a lot.

I must apologise to the kitchen swap people if they read my blog. I made a commitment to them to make the potholder/kitchen item swap and have failed miserably. Luckily my swap partner will be late too so I hope she'll forgive me with a few gifts thrown in with the 'creation' when I finally get it finished.

Branching out is going slowly. This is my work project, so unless I get a repeat done while having coffee in BB's waiting for my bus, it's just not getting anywhere. I'm about 60-70% done at the moment and my aunt's birthday isn't until May, but I like to be ahead.

Next week I have some time off to get some work done on the portfolio, crack on with the housework and generally chill as well. I'm going to have my hair done on Monday as a treat for feeling a bit out of it and really want a vast change.

So watch this space, hopefully I'll have some blog posts and pics and such next week for you all.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Hope you guys are having a lovely easter. Ours wouldn't be too bad if Seth and myself didn't have another cold! I think that his is partly due to cutting his fangs.... to say he's irritable is an understatement. I think I got my cold from him, but the germs are out and about everywhere atm. Poor lamb has had me up in the night the majority of the week, though he managed to sleep through til 5 this morning.

I don't have any pictures of my knitting atm. I've done the heel flap on my crosswalkers but have to have my laptop in front of me (pattern is saved there) to make sure I'm making the heel properly. I've made the odd sock before but it's been a while and I've not gotten that innate knowledge yet! I've also been making something for a swap. I'm not particularly 'homely' but it seemed like a fun thing to do. I'm making a potholder/mitt thingy but I'm not sure what it'll be til I've finished. I'm trying different textural patterns knit into blocks and my 'potholders' were too small so I'm going to make a linked oven glove thing out of the sections. Thing is I'll have to make a sort of lining otherwise a cotton mitt will probably of no use whatsoever! Ah well... I'll put up pics if a) it's any good and b) if I have chance- it has to be posted by the 31st!!

I've made a bit more progress on the banching out scarf. I got about 5 or 6 repeats done when I went to Bristol last week on a blood transfusion course. There would have been a lot more progress if I'd not encountered a very chatty man determined to converse the whole 1hr and 20mins of the journey home :o| Granted he was a lovely young man, but after 7 hours of blood transfusion lectures I really didn't want to but I'm far too polite for my own good and ended up doing no knitting on the way home. I usually do some knitting in my breaks at work but there's a lot of "atmosphere" at work and I can't concentrate on the pattern rows and make mistakes. Even after 30-sum-odd repeats I still have to have the pattern. I can't remember lace patterns unless they're super simple!

As I have no knitting photos here's a cutie pic for easter

Don't eat too much chocolate folks... ah who am I kidding? I have a Green and Blacks egg with bittersweet cherry AND dark almond....mmmmmm!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ducktastic Day

Hi there!

Well, Seth is still poorly :o( He'd not been sick since Monday but had diahrroea and no appetite for the last few days. This morning I bathed him at 7am as he was a little "messy" and he managed some toast. Hurrah.... except for later when both the sickness and diahrroea came back with a vengeance. Ah well.

However, between being O.K. and not being so good, we went for some fresh air. My dad took us and Sadie the bull terrier out for a walk to Sutton Park. We played fetch with Sadie then drove around to the other side of the park so that we could feed the ducks.

Here's Seth on the field where we were playing with Sadie.

Here we are feeding the ducks. There were lots of different types; not just your average ducks, canadian geese and swans. There were a few of the more exotic breeds there too as it's quite an expanse of water.

Here's me trying to hold a (very strong) dog and a very willful Seth.

Seth trying to get as close as possible to the quack quacks.

There was about 10 times more than this at least!

Ok.... so here's just a boring picture of field and a radio mast right? Wrong. This radio mast is my "Twinkle Stick" from when I was a wee one. My mum and dad used to show fancy pigeons and go fishing all over the country and I travelled far and wide with them. I used to watch out for the radio mast dubbed the "Twinkle Stick" because of the way the light flashed and twinkled on the top. I always knew I wasn't far from home when I saw this and it was a comfort thing when I was a kid. Even now if I see this mast I know I'm not far from home and I look forward to getting back and having a cuppa. Funny how these things stick with you no matter how old we are.

And here's a pic from home:

It's not often we get pictures taken together as myself and DB are usually the ones trying to get Seth to stay still etc while the other takes a picture! This was taken earlier this week while we were having 5 minutes cuddle because he'd not been well again. And LOL at my hair! It's not quite long enough to put up properly and I tend to clip some of it up out of the way and it all falls out.... a bad hair day for sure!
The jumper I'm wearing though, for the more observant, is "wicked" by Zephyr Style without the pocket on the front. I think I'd been a bit hasty not putting the pocket on, but I like the fit. Problem is since I knit in DB Merino Aran, the 100% merino content makes it itchy around the neckline. I think that I need either a blend of wool and another fibre for knits that touch sensitive skin like my neck. I know it doesn't look great here but I am sitting rather hunched. I lost the pattern when my PC died but I'd consider making another or something similar. I really like the Zephyr Style patterns. I bought a few when I got the 'wicked' pattern but it would mean scouring my old hard drives etc.

Well, I think I'm ready for a nap myself! We's been into Sutton Coldfield town after our nature walk as well. I popped into Next for some socks for Seth. £65 later, I'd bought him denim dungarees with an orange/brown t-shirt, blue-grey camo trousers, a lime green shower resistant jacket for when the weather is warmer, a pack of 4 long-sleeve t-shirts because he ruins them on a regular basis at nursery and 15 pairs of socks. Me thinks that covers easter presents and then some. Ooops!!! He isn't desperate for clothes.... just in the same way I'm not desperate for yarn, though it's desirable to keep buying it!

Right, I'm off to decide on what take-away we'd like for our weekly treat. I'm starving after all the fresh air!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

are you sitting down?

I ask this because I have a surprising project on the needles.... A SOCK!

Yup once again I'm attempting to beat SSS and knit a PAIR of socks.... problem is SSS is like those other nasty diseases that are treated into remission but never really go away (like herpes, syphillis, myeloma). Now whilst latently hiding within me it could be just waiting to raise it's ugly head, so I'm trying to be optimistic and keep it at bay.

The design is 'Crosswalkers'- a variation on the bias pattern that is in the now world famous 'Jaywalkers'. It is much easier than counting the pattern repeats because on every other row, the kbf and ktog / ssk and kbf are at done with the stitches either end of the needles. However, it means I have to use 4 needles to spread the stitches over so I feel like i'm wrestling with a porcupine- I've more comfortable using dpn's when the stitches are over 3 needles.

Here it is on the ebonys.... though because I have a habit of snapping my 2.25mm dpns I actually have a set of 6 which are a combination of brittany birch (very flimsy) and soxstix in ebony (lantern moon). The points are better on the ebonys as well. I think when I have some more spare cash I'm going to buy another set. I like the addis for strenght but they're too long for me and I tend to get injured or impale someone else!

This is a close-up of the biased effect of the knitting.

This is the safety demonstration.... protect your sock with squirly whirly things. It means I don't have to worry about the needles getting lost or stitches jumping off. However, I think with dpn's I'm going to have to get one of those tubes with a slot in that completely covers the needles so that they can't poke through my bag etc.

Now, to those wondering why I'm dayblogging it's because Seth spent all of yesterday being sick and we're home again today so he can recooperate. Nursery wouldn't have had him due to the sickness policy in case he gave it to the other children, but since he's not been sick today I think all being well he'll be ok for nursery tomorrow. My boss will be pleased!

Well, toodlepip I'm going to try and fit in 10 mins sock knitting while Seth's napping!