Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A drum roll please.............

....................and a long line of trumpeters going Da da da da da da daaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I present to you.............

The long awaited..................

GLAM ROCK SKI SUIT SOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Made for the Simply Knitting Magazine Knit a pair of socks for a celebrity competition. Now for you Boosh fans out there, this is obvious, but for all you uninitiated folk, these are for Noel Fielding (Vince Noir) from the TV comedy The Mighty Boosh. In the first series there is an episode called Tundra, where Vince wears an outfit which he calls The Glam Rock Ski Suit. These are based on that suit. Here is a little clip of it.........(hope it works)

"Ice flow, nowhere to go, ice flow, nowhere to go......"

Sorry, I couldn't find a still picture of it!! So there you go. I am not entirely happy with them, I can't seem to do anything about the white bits showing through where I have twisted the spare yarn at the back. I am scared to wash and block in case they go horribly wrong!

I have added a hit counter to the blog, I have had more hits than 7 (I hope) but I started it at 1 today so get clicking and get that number up for me!

My Fabel sock yarn has been delayed from garnstudio. Only by a week or so though, so not too bad. Some of the other colours are going to take up till end of Feb so I'm glad I ordered the colours I did.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Addis & Ireland

Hellooooo. Wow, didn't realise it had been a week nearly. I have been away for the weekend though, to Ireland to visit the in-laws.

1. My lovely new Addi Turbos.
2. My father-in-law, who at 88 is still as sprightly as he was when I met him nearly 20 years ago. He puts us all to shame!!
3. My dog. When we go out for a walk he lifts his leg for a pee. Then he starts walking away before he has finished and leaves a wiggly pee trail along the pavement.

So, new Addi Turbo Circulars. They arrived unexpectedly in the post this morning, after I got an email yesterday saying they were waiting for supplies from the manufacturer. So I'm happy. Now, I thought that one kind of knitting needle was much the same as another, but I was WRONG. These are great!! They are light, super smooth, and they don't make a noise when you use them. And the bit where the needle and cable join is so smooth. I am knitting socks on 2 circulars and they just slide along effortlessly. In fact they are so fab that I am enjoying doing my competition socks again and I reckon I'll have them finished tomorrow. I picked up some tips from Krys who knitted the mitts mentioned in the previous post, and the second one is definately better than the first. I'm going to wash and block them and then send them in. Anyway, I'm definately going to get more Addis for other projects.

The weekend in Ireland went fine. It is a very quiet place where not a lot happens. And sadly the little wool shop that is in the town has closed so I couldn't go and have a rummage for some Irish yarn (if such a thing exists).

And now all is back to normal. Well not quite, because Colin moved out today!! To his new office!!! I can't go because I haven't got a desk yet. I do have a chair apparently. Its another week or so until I get a desk, and phone lines. And I have to learn to use Excel for the bookkeeping!

Will post pics tomorrow of socks & cardi-in-progress!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Warm, birds, whistling, CD, card & socks!

3BTs for today........
1. Going out wrapped up in 4 layers and feeling cosy warm, and not minding that my nose was still cold.
2. Big, fat blackbirds rustling around in the leaf litter.
3. A window cleaner whistling away, happy in his work.

So I have just whizzed up this card for our neice's 18th birthday. I used a decoupage sheet that I've had for ages and some peel-offs in a window card. Not sure if we will see her at the weekend though.

I got a surprise in the post this morning, a CD from My Pwllheli Friend. He did it while I was over there last week but I forgot to bring it with me, and then I forgot he was sending it to me so when it arrived I was well chuffed! Some cool tunes on there, The Coral, OutKast, Jose Gonzales (remember the bouncing balls advert on TV recently?).

A big breakthrough happened last night. I finished a competition sock!!! Once I got on with it it didn't take too long to do. I tried it on and it is a bit tight but I'm not gonna faff with it at this stage, I'll just get the other one done and send them in. I really wish they were as good as these mitts. How good a knitter are they???

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Paris, lips & face

Look what just arrived!! My garnstudio Paris. It is so difficult to get the colours to look right but it is slightly more red-pink than in the photo, there it looks quite orangey but it actually isn't. It is no. 38 on this colour chart and this is what I'm going to make with it. But not yet!!

I picked up the competition socks again this morning after having a break from them and I think I will just get on and do them. I'll try to get the first one done and then take the other one to do in Ireland when we visit Colin's dad.

I have got 3BTs for today
1. A little clutch of snowdrops in flower in one of my neighbours' gardens.
2. Twinkly frost on the lawn
3. Lovely soft lip balm that is still on when you wake up in the morning.

And that leads me to a couple of recommendations...
I found a lip balm on Saturday in Julian Graves. I went in for a big bag of sultanas and it was on the counter so I bought one. Usually I'll buy a lip balm and use it about twice and that is that, but this one is the best I've tried and I've used it every day since. It is called Jason Lips Bee Healthier and has a lovely peppermint flavour, and makes your lips tingle. Perfect for this time of the year. I'm not sure where else you can get it though.
The other product I want to recommend is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. It is the best thing I have ever washed my face with, and isn't too expensive! The moisturiser is good too. I don't think I'll use anything else from now on. I did run out of this recently and used some Clinique face wash that I already had and it wasn't a patch on this, and much dearer. I'll make sure I don't run out again!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Robbie?, gloves, cardigan.

Oh my God, can it be??? Robbie Williams???? In the Ramada Plaza hotel in Wrexham????
Well no, it was Ian somebody or other, but he had a good go at it, and was entertaining.

All in all a good night. The food wasn't bad for a mass produced hotel Christmas meal, much better than some I've had over the years. And I was very naughty and had the Christmas pudding, but it was very nice. Then there was "Robbie", and he did all the favourites, finishing with everyone doing a "mini Knebworth" as he called it, waving candles, lighters and mobile phones in the air while singing Angels.
And then the obligatory disco, with Bex requesting all kinds of tunes for various members of our group. It's funny how all the same ones come up every time, A bit of Ricky Martin that we can all shake our booties at, Status Quo so that Dai can do his air guitar routine, Teenage Dirtbag so everyone else can do their air guitar routines. And of course S Club 7. Unfortunately I just missed out on Amarillo, but dashed back to see them all marching round the room.
Here are a couple of pics of people enjoying themselves.

Bex on the left, who really let her hair down, and Iain & Helen the new parents-to-be. Come on Iain, you have to de-lurk now I know you read this, and leave me a comment or two from time to time!!

I think we can now safely put Christmas to bed for another 11 months.

The planning permission for the offices finally came through on Friday so its all systems go now, getting furniture, phone lines and computers in. And finding me something smart to wear, eek.

Finished off the FIL's gloves this morning, just a bit of sewing up. Here they are finished......

they are black, not blue.
And here is the back of my Lana Grossa cardigan in progress. The pattern changes soon, to another chart, but there is no photo of the back and it is different to the front. The instructions are a little confusing so I may have to have a few tries before I work it out!
And those naughty, naughty people at garnstudio have released their new sock yarn!! I must resist, I must resist, I must resist!!! Oh, bum!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Christmas Party time!!

I know it sounds mad but I am going to my ex-work's Christmas Party tonight. They left it a bit late to book so ended up with the 20th January. It's the full works I think, Christmas dinner, crackers, silly hats etc, and a Robbie Williams tribute act. I am sooo hoping he isn't wearing a chest wig! Pics will follow I promise.

Said cheerio to a friend today who is moving to France for 6 months. I am blaming Colin (in a light-hearted way) because he life-coached her and she gave up her job and is moving away! I'm not going to let him loose on any other friends, I have so few as it is.

I have started on the Lana Grossa cardigan, looking very good so far. There are some confusing instructions coming up for the decreases, so I may call on some help from the knitters out there, but I'll cross that when I come to it. I have put the socks to one side but still haven't made the final decision to completely abandon them. Maybe if that's all the knitting I take to Ireland next week then I will get on with them, no other projects to distract me.

I had a bit of a busy night in my sleep last night. At one point I apparently said in an evil voice, "I HATE YOU!!", and then a bit after that I had a fit of giggles. I was definately having a fight with someone in the former, and then I was part of a try-out for a new Mighty Boosh sketch in the latter, which I obviously thought was hilarious. At least I didn't hit Colin in the face like I did a few nights before.

Sorry to anyone coming to this blog to see Vincent's picture, it was there, honestly, but he had me remove it so quick, you could have blinked and it was gone. Shame, he isn't TOO much of a minger!

Well, better go and make my once or twice yearly attempt at applying make-up. I never wear the stuff usually, but you have to make the effort, especially when you know everyone else will be tarted up within an inch of their life!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wind, Pwllheli, dogs, and socks

Wow, the wind was horrendous yeaterday. According to my neighbours anyway, I missed all the excitement by clearing off to Pwllheli. Trees were down, fence panels broken, and there was even a fatality on our ring road, the A55, when a lorry blew over. Two of our back fence panels blew down, but we think we can slot them back in with an extra pair of hands.

Yes, there was wind in Pwllheli, but not as bad as it could have been considering it is on the coast. You can see the waves in these pictures.

It was surprisingly not cold though, okay I was wrapped up but was quite warm by the end of our dog walk. That is my Pwllheli friend's dog Bo, and this is him after he'd found the biggest puddle he could and jumped in it!!

and this is him jumping on his "dad".

In the next photo the dog in the foreground is Luke, Bo's brother, who we tried to persuade Colin to bring home with us because he is sort of available (a long story). But we didn't because of our old mutt, who is too old to put up with an excitable young dog now. He can take them in small doses but not as a live in. Never mind, he was gorgeous though.

I got some sock yarn this morning from ebay for my friend Heather's socks. She wanted blue ones and green ones, I already have some green I can use. This is a alpaca/merino mix in Bluebell and is gorgeous from the Natural Dye Studio.

Their yarn is always lovely. For those of you who have read previous entries, I ordered this before my bold "I will not buy any more knitting stuff" statement, and the cotton that won't arrive till the end of the month.

I am on the horns of a dilemma. I have become completely fed up with my competition socks. They are still not quite right, and I now have to make the decision whether or not to stop. The thought of making the second sock.......... Its not as if I don't have anything else to make either. Oh what shall I do?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Spinning & Pwllheli

Just a short post today. I forgot to show my meagre effort at a bit of spinning.
This is from the fleece I got on ebay.

And then this morning I got this...

from my Aunt who cards and spins fleece too. This had been carded already so will be much easier to spin, I'm going to have a go tonight after dinner.

Tomorrow I am off to see my Pwllheli friend. It must be about 4 years since I've seen him so it should be good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lana Grossa, camera & office.

Phew, last week was a bit mad what with all the sheep! Anyway, the Stash order is finished and taken in this morning. Because I had a bit of time I had a good look through all the books in there, and decided to spend my voucher. I am going to make this......

with this..........

it is Lana Grossa Cool Wool in a teal colour, 100% merino. The ladies were very helpful in the shop, cos I didn't have a clue what I wanted when I went in. So that project goes on my list:

Black gloves - to be sewn up
Competition socks - OTN
Mint lacy scarf - OTN
Sheldon the tortoise
Drops cardigan
Lana Grossa cardigan
Socks x 2 for my friend Heather

I MUST NOT BUY ANY MORE KNITTING STUFF!!! The socks (well the first one!) are coming along, not perfect but good enough. And I found out that you get them back if you send an SAE, which is great cos I have put in a lot of effort not to get them back!

I hope you appreciate the super duper photos, I took them with my shiny new camera which I impulse bought on Saturday. It was less than half price though. Its worked out quite well actually cos my mum was talking about getting a digital camera just for snaps so she can now have my old one for her birthday. That justifies my purchase!

On Sunday we went to visit some friends in Shropshire for lunch, and afterwards we took the dogs for a bit of a stroll up the country lanes. Here are Heather, Colin & Robert with the dogs, R&H's dog is Winnie, the grey one.
On Monday I became a company secretary and shareholder!! Colin is self employed and getting some offices soon, and has changed to a limited company. So I am now the secretary and will be helping him out when the offices open in February. Should be cool. I won't have too many hours, as long as I keep on top of the bookkeeping, and answer the phones in reception! I am not going to be able to knit at the reception desk though, so I may go back to my novel in the quiet periods. And I may be able to use one of the rooms occasionally to do a bit of Reiki.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It bloomin' well ran out!!

Yep, the yarn ran out -- one and a half inches short of the end of the thumb!! I have ordered a new ball, and to justify the postage cost I added a little something else, to make this
I'm doing it in an orangey-red, which looks nice on the colour chart, so hopefully will look much the same in real life. They do not have enough in stock but I'm not in a hurry for it, as long as I get the black for the gloves.

So in the meantime I will make another attempt at the competition socks. I have cast on, and am doing the rib which is one colour so no problems there. I have decided to start patterning part way around the round (if you get what I mean). This should help with the change of colour at the beginning of the round, and I'm going to knit VERY loosely this time. Elizabeth Zimmerman says it doesn't matter how loose it is, so it will be very loose.

Apart from that I have a whole flock of sheep in various stages of assembly. I have 20 pink/white completed, another 20 with no legs or eyes, and now I'm off to start on the black/white ones. I am making far more than I need to this time, so if Stash want some more I'll have some in stock already and won't have to make them in a hurry. And I may even send a couple out to knitty friends if I'm in a good mood. (Hint, hint Tina - but I'll need an address!)

Ho hum, back to the farm..........

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Whoops, bargains & Sheldon

Gggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!! I have just written this post once and then the whole lot just vanished!! How annoying, where do these things go, and why??? Well, here we go again..........

I was very pleased to get a call from the Posh Yarn Shop this morning, to say they wanted to order more of my sheep stitch markers. They want a total of 56!!! so off I went to Hobby Craft to replenish my Fimo supplies.

Unfortunatley I had a little mishap while I was there and this fell in my basket...
The yarn is 100% nylon "paper ribbon" and was 3 for 99p. The handles are bamboo and were only £1.49, cheapest I've seen. Added to the stash for the time being to be considered later.

I had lunch with a fellow bookcrosser today in town and she passed on "We Need to Talk about Kevin" which is a bookring. We had a good chat and a catch-up and then I had a wander round town for a while. I popped in to see Rachel, who I worked with in the bookshop, she is now in a giftshop. Then I did the wrong thing and went in The Works where I saw this.........
and somehow when I got home I discovered I'd bought it ;o). Knock down price, so that's my excuse. And I haven't got a stitch book. It is all charts though so I will have to try to memorize the symbols.

The gloves are coming along nicely, the second one is now at the stage the first one was in when I took the photo from a couple of days ago. BUT my yarn is getting very scanty and I am seriously worried it is going to run out. It won't be by much which is so frustrating. But keep everything crossed for me that it lasts.

After the gloves and the competition socks and the lacy scarf, I want to make one of these possibly for friends who are having a baby in March. I have already sent them some booties but that was ages ago. I'll see how I go.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Knitting, spinning, bookcrossing.............

So here is yet another pair of fluffy knitted slippers! This time in black for my mum. They were supposed to be a birthday present for February but she has decided she wants them now so I'll have to think of something else for her birthday. She is also getting a fluffy white scarf. I made one for her before Christmas to give to her friend and now she wants one too. It is already made so they can all go in the post tomorrow.

I decided I wanted to have a go at spinning, so I went on ebay and got this drop spindle and some raw fleece. It has been washed but that is all. I've never done this before, but I have got a book so I'll give it a go! Watch this space.

This arrived on Friday morning from Scandinavian Knitting Design It is pure 100% alpaca, 4 ply weight and I am making gloves for my father-in-law. The yarn is really soft and I think they are going to be very warm. It is a new pattern challenge for me as I have not made gloves with fingers in before. As you can see it is a WIP with only the little finger done so far. I think it gets a bit fiddly from here on. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed I have enough yarn for 2 gloves!

I also have to get back to the competition socks, I only have 7 weeks to get them in and I am starting from scratch after my tension disaster. Hope it works this time.

Onto other things.............New Years Eve was good. We had our nextdoor-but-one neighbours Paul & Kate round with their daughters who are 7 & 5. Colin cooked a big sea trout with new potatoes and veg which went down really well. Then we played Jenga and Bratz top trumps, watched Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jool's Hootenanny, and ran outside to watch the local fireworks at midnight. Forgot to get the camera out tho' so no pics, sorry! On Monday (tomorrow) I have been entrusted with the job of picking the girls up from school, as Kate is at college, so that should be fun. Hope I get them both back in one piece!

I received a Bookcrossing book last week called Beyond Black by Hilary Mantell. It's about a medium who can't switch off the voices when she comes off stage. Quite good so far but I'm only about 50 pages in. I am meeting another bookcrosser on Tuesday lunchtime to get We Need to Talk about Kevin. Not sure if I'm going to enjoy that one though. It will be nice to see Viv though and catch up with the goings on, because I haven't been very active on the bookcrossing lately, and haven't been to any meet-ups. I have a pile of registered books here that need to be "released".

We are getting rid of some shelving through Freecycle today. Someone is coming round to pick it all up. They are getting a great deal, it is all IKEA stuff and nothing wrong with it. Not bad for a freebie.

Well, back to the gloves, they won't knit themselves...........ah, if only!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sock, sheep and jumper

I have started on my competition sock.............however, after turning the heel I encountered a serious problem. The top of the sock is knitted in 2 colours and I have carried the yarn across the back of the work TOO TIGHTLY!! The whole of the top of the sock has bunched up and you would never get a few toes through it let alone a leg! I am going to knit the second one much more loosely and then frog the first one and do it again. Apart from that the design looks great, I'm pleased with that at least.

The posh yarn shop has now listed my sheep stitch markers on their website here....
They are selling them in twos.

I sent a photo of my jumper to Amanda at the Natural Dye Studio where I purchased the yarn, and she has asked if she can add it to the customer gallery. Of course I said yes!

And finally I made a card for my niece this morning, with a cute clown on it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year