Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sleepy dog, jumper & Christmas

Just had to post this pic of my dog being very cheeky, lying on the bed with his nose under my pillow, aaawwwwww!!

Well here is the finished object.

Hooray. I started this when I got back from holiday at the end of September (there are various previous posts charting it's progress!), and finished it last Wednesday, just in time to wash and block it to get it dry and wear it on Boxing Day. The neck is supposed to be fully open, but it came down very low so I tacked a few of the crochet peaks together in case I wanted to wear it without a T-shirt underneath. The original pattern is here....... but I used a different yarn and mine has come out longer, which is fine by me. I love the colour of the original but the yarn was very expensive, as it was this one cost me about £35 to make. Not bad considering it it is hand-dyed 100% merino wool. And I absolutely love the colour. The yarn is from The Natural Dye Studio who have listings on ebay, it is in colourway Pacific Spring.

Well, Christmas............the actual day was quiet, just us two and the dog. And LOTS of prezzies!! I had various knitty gifts.....2 knitting bags, several sets of needles, a Rowan pattern book, and a page a day calendar with a pattern for every day of the year!! What a scary thought. And a gift voucher for the posh yarn shop. Other items included a lovely silver and amethyst necklace (which can be seen in the above pic), pyjamas, books, choccie, CD etc etc. And the Mighty Boosh Live DVD, woohoo!! It turned into a bit of a Noel-fest yesterday, because we watched the 2 hours of live show and then he was also on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year last night for another 2 hours, (with Russell Brand, another of my favourites) but hey, who's complaining???!!!!! The live show is still funny, not quite the same as actually being there, which we were in March in Warrington, but great anyway. Lots of very silly moments, and I've still got disc 2 to watch which apparently has another 2 hours of extras on it. GENIUS!!

Boxing Day we went over to some friends of ours and had a lovely day, great food and company culminating in a riotous game of Articulate, which my team lost by only one question. I'm not sure we got all the rules right and there was a bit of tactical play by our team near the end but it was great fun.

So coming up are a drink out on Saturday night with some ex-work colleagues of mine from when I worked in the bookshop, and New Year's Eve with the next-door-but-one neighbours. And then on January 20th is my ex-work's Christmas do!! They left it a bit late to book anything, but it is still Chritmas dinner with a Robbie Williams tribute act which should be interesting!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

3 BTs

3 BTs from the last couple of days

1. Seeing Richard Hammond fully recovered chatting to Jonathon Ross on TV last night.

2. Going into town today and seeing Manny, the Big Issue seller wearing the gloves I made for him. He was very happy with them and said they were very warm.

3. Mark & Karen winning Strictly Come Dancing tonight. They both really deserved it.

Other than that, I did a swatch of part of my design for the Simply Knitting magazine competition socks today and it came out well despite it being an odd shape. So I can soldier on with them now. I'm not sure if anyone on the judging panel will even have heard of my celebrity (I'm sure he would hate to be called that too, so let's say fairly well known in certain circles) but I hope at least they will like the socks.

I also had a lovely email from Florence in the USA who had 7 sets of sheep from me through ebay, wishing me a Happy Christmas and telling me how much all her knitting group friends loved their sheepy gifts. She is going to want some more too!
I also had a phone call from my mum's friend Barbara to thank me for the scarf I made her which was a lovely surprise. One suspects my mum had a hand in it as our number is ex-directory!
No photos today, the next one will be me wearing The Jumper when it is dry.
I managed to join the Sexy Knitters Club today but had to open a separate blogger account to do it. Hope there is some way to merge the two at some point. I have added the button to the side bar but it hasn't got a link to the blog, any ideas anyone?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tree, square & jumper

It is FINISHED!!!! The bluey green jumper is finished at last. I am just blocking it and when it is dry it is ready to wear. Hopefully for Boxing Day when we are going to friends.

I had a hospital outpatient appointment yesterday so I grabbed some left over sock yarn and 3mm needles and started on a square for the Knit A River Campaign for WaterAid I finished it this afternoon after I'd done the last of the crochet on the jumper. It looks a bit odd shaped cos I didn't block it but it will be sewn onto another load of squares so it'll be fine.

Finally today, here is our Christmas tree, with and without flash! (especially for my Pwllheli friend!)

Oh yeah, the posh yarn shop has added some of my stitch markers to their website, the sheep should be on there in the next day or so, so go take a look, it's a good site.

I only have one WIP at the moment, the lacy scarf, but I am ready to start my sock pattern for the competition, it will be basic stocking stitch but the design is what I have to work out on graph paper. I may have a break for a couple of days though as I have got very stiff fingers and I think I have got trigger finger in my right little finger, I had it before on the left hand and it took months to go away. I'll have to knit with my pinkie in the air if it carries on!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

I saw this on another blog and just had to post it!

Through looking at the Sexy Knitters Club blog I have found a wonderful knitting site which is UK based and has hundreds of gorgeous modern free patterns and also sells the yarn to make them at very good prices. The site is called and the designs are by Drops Designs. I have just ordered 1 ball of their alpaca yarn to see what its like to make some gloves for my father in law for when he plays golf. The great thing is they take PayPal too so its so easy to order. Hope it gets here before Christmas! If it is nice yarn I'm going to order more for a really lovely fitted cardigan pattern I've seen on there.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sheep in the shop

Yippee, I had a phone call just now to say that the posh yarn shop in town are going to sell my sheep stitch markers and they are going to pay me £4 for a set of 4. That's more than I thought and I was going to accept £3.50 so £4 is a bonus.

He has two sets each of each colour so far.

He is also going to buy the knit/purl ones for £2.50 so I have to nip up to the bead place tomorrow to get some more letters before they close for Christmas. Never gonna be a millionaire but its a few pennies in my pocket which will probably go back in their till for yarn anyway!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gloves, competition sock yarn & Fusion

I am struggling to post photos today. I have to download them through my husbands printer onto his computer and then send them across to mine, but there seems to be a problem. His computer keeps freezing! Very frustrating!

Anyway when I get the pics through the first one is of a pair of fingerless gloves I made with the American sock yarn. It was too rough to use for socks so I made the gloves instead. I have decided I am going to give them to the guy we buy the Big Issue from in town, to keep his hands warm. He is a really nice guy, and in his thick African accent he calls me "my lovely" and Colin "my braav". He is always happy no matter the weather.

The second pic is the sock yarn and fluffy yarn I will use for my competition socks. I will use white aswell, but that's all the clues you are getting. I'll be starting them after Christmas. I may have to change the fluffy yarn because it is not quite the same pink (it's a bit peachy), and I want it to match.

And finally a ball of Wendy Fusion which I got yesterday to try out. It should be just enough for a woolly hat!

I found a blog called the Sexy Knitters Club and am just waiting for them to confirm whether I can join. All members can then contribute to the blog. It's nothing saucy, just a group of younger knitters who like to make modern pretty items rather than old granny sweaters!

3 BTs

1. That lovely sparkly effect you get when it rains but the sun is shining.

2. I was chatting to an elderly lady at the bus stop about Christmas and she asked if I had children. When I said no, she said "It's just, girls as young as you do have them don't they?" I just nodded politely and smiled -- I'm 38!!

3. Knowing that I'm getting a surprise present from the posh yarn shop.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pork, sheep and tango.

3 BTs for today

1. Walking through town we looked in the window of a cafe & sandwich shop and saw what looked like ham & stuffing batches. It reminded me of the Chester Food Festival in 2005 where we had hot pork and apple sauce batches, with the pork carved straight off the roast. As I was talking I said, "It's ages since I had a hot pork bap!" just as a man overtook me on the pavement. Realising this must have sounded odd as an overheard conversation I burst into fits of giggles, at which the man in question turned round with a big grin on his face and confirmed my worst fears!

2. Being brave enough to go into the posh yarn shop and letting them see my sheep stitch markers. They have agreed to sell them in the shop, we just have to negotiate prices.

3. Mark & Karen's amazing Argentine Tango on Strictly Come Dancing. Seeing Karen so happy brought tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I've just switched over from old Blogger to the new Blogger beta. Everything looks the same so hopefully this post will publish ok. I found with the old version that I could no longer post comments on other people's blogs. Haven't tried it with this new version yet, but I will later.

Okay, a couple of things I made in the last few days. When I was in Southampton my mum asked if I could make a white fluffy scarf for her friend Barbara, so here it is............

I will have to post it this afternoon.

And here is the first of 2 pairs of fluffy slippers for my neighbours little girls. These are a bright fluorescent cerise pink, and the other pair will be purple.

And here are a couple of works in progress (WIPs)............

A pair of fingerless gloves and a lacy scarf. You may recognise the yarns from a few posts ago.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Family reunion

So, here are the details of my exciting weekend in Southampton. It is full of BTs so I think this counts for a few days worth of those.
Ok, drove down Friday afternoon, pottered about Sat morning, then went to meet my aunt at a local pub in Mansbridge called the White Swan. We didn't know who would be there, I thought just my aunt Jane (my dad's sister) and her husband would be there and that we were going to go on to my Uncle Roger's house. We looked around the car park and decided to look inside the pub and there was a crowd of people at the bar. I recognised Jane straight away from recent emails and pics and waved and she came and gave me a big hug and there were a couple of tears. Then we all worked out who was who, Joanne and Claire (Jane's daughters and my cousins), and Alun (Jane's husband) and got a drink then went over to where my uncle Roger (my dad's brother) was sitting with Claire's children Ben & Shannon and Claire's fella, Bob. Looked at pics of Roger's daughters and grandchildren and reminisced and then went off to the cemetary to put some flowers on my nan's grave. When the old cremamtorium was built on, they moved the soil to a new place and it was at the cemetary we went to. Roger knew exactly where grandad was so I put a flower there and that the soil where my dad was originally, was put in the same area, so I left a flower there too.
So we all stood around chatting for ages and took some photos then all went off our separate ways again. We didn't go to the house after all, I thought it was my nan's old house but Roger has moved since so it wouldn't have been the same anyway.
On the Sunday I went to the other crem with my mum to put a wreath for my other grandparents and we had a bit of a chat about dad which we'd never done before so that was nice too. And then I took her round to where dad is, because she didn't know where it was. Its difficult when you marry again because you have to move on and she has been very happy with Bill for the last 30 years.
Anyway, here are some pics of me and my family..........
This is Uncle Roger,

And this is l-r Joanne, me, Jane, Claire, and Ben & Shannon in the front.
This is Aunty Jane!

And this is us all together.

And this one, my Pwllheli Friend tells me, looks as if Jane is screwing up her nose because I just let one!! How very dare he!! Ha ha ha!

Jane gave me some other old photos of my nan when she was small and also one with my great grandmother in it. Amazing. So all in all a very successful visit. Roger reckons he is going to have a party on his 70th birthday so I'm looking forward to that sometime in 2008.

On Sunday luchtime my step sister and her family came up to my mum's house. It was a bit brief because they'd had to go out and get a new telly, and we had to leave after lunch but it was lovely to see them anyway. The kids grow so quickly but then it is a year since we last saw them. Unfortunately in all the rush and chaos I forgot to get my camera out so sadly I don't have any pics of them. Hopefully they will come up and visit in the summer.

The drive home was rainy, and luckily we were warned about an accident on the M6 so we came off the motorway early and the GPS guided us a different way. As it was a bit late we stopped in a pub for fish and chips. It was a bit wishy washy but it filled a gap.

And now, it is back to normal, and I have a pile of washing and ironing to do, and still have a couple of knitting projects to get finished in the next couple of days, so I'd best go and get on with them............

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crochet, clowns and dreams

I went off to knitting club yesterday with my partly sewed up jumper and my pattern, and luckily a very nice lady whose name I don't know showed me how to do the crochet I needed to do. Here is a close-up of the bit I have done so far, not bad for a beginner eh?

We had 11 hand puppets made (2 not in photo) and they have now gone off to Operation Christmas Child. It was great that they were all so different.

Been to the hairdresser's this morning for a bit of a tart-up before visiting the folks. Bit of colour to cover the grey!! Not so red this time though.

I had one of my recurring dreams last night. It was the one where I am trying to get through a door but I can't reach it because it is high above me in a wall or something like that. Last night it was at the top of a staircase but the stairs didn't go far enough. My other recurring dream is of having exams coming up and I've not been to the classes for months and months. Oh, what can it all mean?

3 BTs
1. A man came to our knitting meeting yesterday. He was wheelchair bound and despite having never knit in his life, he showed great enthusiasm and had completed several rows by the time we went home.
2. A lady came to the hairdresser today with a very young baby. When it began to cry it was immediatley soothed just by the mere touch of its mother's hand.
3. The lady behind the glass in the post office wasn't grumpy today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cards, Bond, and 3BTs

On Friday I started on a few Christmas Cards. These are some of my efforts (you can click on the pics for a larger view) .....

They didn't take too long as I was using ready made stickers on the Santas and snowmen, so I made 10 altogether with slight variations. The other 2 are made with stamps. I really love the little Happy Christmas wording stamp, it's just right. That, and the others were all from Pixie Dust, a seller on ebay and they are unmounted so a really good price, plus she always chucks in a freebie! (in this case the snowflakes).

So, Saturday we went off to see Casino Royale with our neighbours. We decided to go to the 4 o'clock screening and booked a meal for after in town. I can't remember the last time I went to the cinema in the afternoon, it made it strange because it was only 7pm when we came out but it felt like 10pm. Anyway, the film........... definately a modern James Bond. I didn't see any Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan Bonds, so I was comparing to Connery and Moore I suppose. It was a great action movie, and you could almost forget it was Bond at all. Brilliant chase scenes although the one on the building site kept flipping my stomach over with all the high up shots and dangling over great heights! Nasty torture scene too, but I won't give it away! Yeah, I did enjoy it, and I can say that Daniel Craig was better in this than Enduring Love but I still don't fancy him!! Haha!!

We then went off to a meal in La Taverna. My starter was delicious, baked vine tomatoes with chorizo, croutons and parmesan. Mmmmm. Then I had caramelised garlic and pumpkin risotto which was rather creamy and very filling. The 2 boys had mussels (ulgh!) then Paul had lamb and Colin had halibut. Kate had halibut too but I can't remember her starter. We then went for a drink and came back to ours for a while before they went home. A very good evening was had by all!

Now, I realise I was going to do 3 Beautiful Things and I haven't kept it up. I guess I won't be doing it every post cos to be honest I'm not out and about much, but yesterday we went out for a drive and I jotted some down....

1. We drove about 30 miles to see some art by a local artist which was displayed in a cafe in Market Drayton. When we got there it was closed. We rang them and they don't open on Sundays, but were inside cleaning up from their Christmas party the night before. The proprietor kindly let us in to have a look.
2. As we were driving the radio was talking about the Bunsfield Oil explosion a year ago. As we passed the huge Muller factory we giggled about what would happen if it exploded and the whole area was showered with bright pink yoghurt, with smatterings of rice and Fruit Corner thrown in for good measure. It reminded me of the end scene in the film Evolution where the alien explodes and everyone is splattered in Head & Shoulders.
3. Coming past Morrisons I noticed a very elderly couple, one with a walking frame and the other with a stick, standing watching a car going through the automated car wash. I would love to believe they were thinking about throwing away their walking aids and running whooping and laughing through the water jets and brushes hand in hand.

Hopefully this afternoon someone at the knitting club will show me how to do crochet. I have finished the jumper but it needs a crochet edging around the neckline, cuffs and bottom edge. I was taught to crochet by Colin's mum a few years ago but have completely forgotten. It will be great to get this jumper finished, I can then move on to the slippers I need to do for Kate. After that, I must think about my competition socks as the closing date is 1st March.