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!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Party on my parcel has been unpacked!

Well hi again I've been to fetch my UK Swap parcel.

I couldn't wait to open it! I ripped it open in the car as soon as I'd buckled my belt!

Yup sideways picture... I'm tired!

Ohh yes... La Occitane baby! A beautiful rose hand cream just great for smoothing the cracks and softening the dry skin. So scrumptious!

Two metal buttons about 12mm long. They're really beautiful and I'll keep these for a worthwhile project for sure!

These twirly whirly things are made by Clover and are designed to keep your needles in their rightful pairs. I'd never even seen them before but I think they're great and love the jelly sweet colours.

Oooh yum! This was attacked by my 3yr old neice much to my disdain. Luckily I've got about 2/3rds left for me. Hmph they're starting young on the luxury chocolate these days!

This is meilenweit sock yarn. It's a lovely mix of light blue, navy, beige and cream. I'm unsure what to do with it just yet (pattern wise I mean) but the colur combination is lovely.

And the best is last.....

Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica! Ooh this is a lovely combination of forest green, cream and reds. It's a poor pic but I was oohing and stroking this for ages!

Thanks SP!!!! And no I still don't have a clue who you are!

Just a few more pics for today.... I went to my sisters house with Seth today so that he could spend a little qua;ity time with my sister, brother in law and my niece. She and another of my sisters had bought me some beautiful fairtrade roses to celebrate me finishing my degree bless them. The daffodils are some I bought on thursday to try and lift my spirits a little.


Friday, March 07, 2008

quick post :o)

Hi there! This is just a quickie post because I am so excited! My swap parcel is at the depot and I'm going to fetch it tomorrow. I can't wait! I'm busy in the day tomorrow though so it will most likely be tomorrow night or Sunday when I get to put any picures up. :oD

I'm a big fan of sideways smileys right now :o) I have cought this strange bug where I text them, email them, blog them, put them on birthday cards.... It's become a bit of a compulsion lately. Weird thind is I've been anything but smiley! I'd hit a wave of feeling particularly down with things this week and not been shaken out of it. I'm hoping that it's not a long term thing but I think it was a long time coming where I realised that I perhaps am a little depressed and frustrated with life. I am naturally a worrier and so many little niggly things can mount up into a huge boulder you're dragging around.

Don't get me wrong, I loved going to ravelry day last week- it was a great break to spend some much needed time out but I felt guilty about it too. I feel guilty about not doing the ironing, leaving bills to the last minute, having a demanding job and feeling rubbish and generally being short tempered at home. I think that sometimes it has to get to this point when you realise you cannot cope and that some of these things just cannot change or aren't as important as we think. I have to try and get myself from this slump to a happy human being again and paying attention to more important things.

I find it difficult to admit that juggling being a mom and working full time and trying to get my portfolio is dampening my spirits and making me feel inadequate because I'm not coping as well as some people would. I thinkt he best step forward will be to not expect that I should cope and get on with taking it a day at a time.

And so to cheer me up until I can get my mitts on my parcel and post again, I'm going to put up the scenic pics from last saturday to remind of the lovely day we had.

Well I'm off to bed, so goodnight x

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Scarlet by name....

Scarlet in nature :o) Not in the whorish sense I hasten to add... unless you mean a yarn whore!

I went to Ravelry Fun Day yesterday at the Crafty Cottage in Warwick with Ruth and a couple of her friends, Rachel and Alison. This was the first knitting 'event' I've been to in a long time and I'm so glad to say it was way worth my expectations and well worth the weeks of barely contained excitement. I'd briefly met Ruth in the flesh before, though I've known her blogwise for a longer time. She really is a wonderful friendly person and really enjoyed her company.

The Crafty Cottage had it's official opening day and invited those that were a part of Ravelry to come along and also the gals from her Monday night knit group too. The spread she put out was amazing and the yarns she's got- I got a bit giddy when I first walked in with a heaving shop and a wall to wall scrumptiousness. There's stuff from all over like Handmaiden, Fleece Artist, Louisa Harding, Mango Moon, Malabrigo, Shades of Cashmere and so many more. To say I had a feast for the senses is an understatement. But most importantly, Jo is so lovely and down to earth and very accommodating.

This little part of the store had a lot of attention. The first 2 shelves were Handmaiden and the 3rd and 4th shelves were Fleece Artist- which I chose the yarn for another Dahlia.

Here is the Noro section which was really impressive. I love Noro for the colour combinations they use, but rarely find one that has exactly all the colours I like.

This was just a small fraction of the food that was put out. I grazed constantly as I'd not taken a small knitting project with me and found the mini samosas and spring rolls really difficult to resist!

Well this is the haul from the trip! The two biggest skeins are Fleece Artist Scotian Silk which is 35% silk and 65% wool. So divine.

The little red one in the middle is Mango Moon Capelli which is a fuzzy but very fine elastic yarn which is meant to be knit in with another yarn to add elasticity to a project. However I plan to use it alone to make a very simple airy scarf.

The smaller red ball is Rosarios 4 Pop Corn. Believe it or not, the yarn is 100% maize and extremely soft. I bought 2 balls to make the Branching Out scarf from Knitty.

The blue skein is Malabrigo lace weight and got to be the softest yarn ever. I don't usually go for lace weight but this is quite thick really and not far off 4ply so I'm going to make something special with that for myself. I might make a small kiri or something like that.

The little kitty brooch is actually from a lovely vintage boutique called Aspire Style in Warwick town. The stuff in there is amazing and definitely worth a browse.

I'd bore you with all the pictures from the haul but Blogger is playing up a bit and it's a pain trying to get it to load pictures. No doubt I'll put them up again in another post though.

I will show you this though...

This is just over 4 repeats of the Branching Out pattern in the Pop Corn yarn. The only complaint about the yarn is that it's very splitty but you get that with a lot of cottons really. I'd originally started it in koigu but this yarn suits the pattern so much more. I think with some blocking it'll open out nicely. The only mods to the pattern I've made is added 2 stitches to the garter border so that it's 5 stitches, not 3. The pattern isn't very wide so I thought that it would add width without having to work out half pattern repeats or anything too technical.

Well, I do want to get on with this project as it's for my great aunt so I'll bid you all goodnight xxx