Saturday, March 31, 2007

SKB finished!!!!

Hooray!! Yesterday morning before work I finished the last 3 rows and cast off. I pinned it to the spare bed and sprayed it with water (a method of blocking I only read about 2 days ago) and left it to dry. By this morning it was done and here are the photos. I really love it, although I would maybe have it slightly longer! Luckily I had just enough yarn, so a longer one would definately need an extra ball or two. (And what a lovely sunny morning to take the pics!) I found the purple vest top in New Look and it also has a bit of sparkle. I couldn't believe how good a match it turned out to be. (Click the pics for closer views but ignore my hair, it desperately needs seeing to!)

Yesterday I received "Fitted Knits" by Stephanie Japel and this morning my "At Knit's End" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee came too. So I have plenty of knitty reading to do now. My next task is to finish off Sheldon this weekend, and then my Fabel scarf. I am still waiting on my 8mm Addis which is a good thing otherwise I would plunge on into the Lace Inset and I have to finish these other things first. However, I have started to think about Christmas presents already and I have one or 2 items and people in mind!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Congratulations to the Hislops

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived. Baby Robert was born this morning at 1.35am. Congratulations to Iain and Helen!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lamb's Pride

Woohoo! Look what arrived today.

My Lamb's Pride Bulky from Oregon Trail. Only took a week all the way from the US and I didn't get stung in customs so I definately got a bargain this time. £23 for 7 skeins including P+P. THis will be used for the Fabulous Lace Inset Cardigan from

I am still waiting on the 8mm Addis, the 7mm came last week. So at least that means I can't jump into this before I finish the SKB. Talking of which I have just finished the lace and purl ridges on the second sleeve, so now its the increases and on to the end!! I had a dream last night that I met up with T and Dreamcatcher, and as I was showing them my SKB, the bottom half of the body came off in one big chunk, just below the lace panel. Must have been something to do with that resuscitation dummy from yesterday, it only consists of a top half. And the dog jumped on me in the evening and some of my stitches fell off the needle, eek. Managed to rescue them though.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clever people, books and First Aid

Isn't it annoying when you are kind of responsible for someone doing something and then they end up doing better at it than you?

My case in point is my friend Becky. She found my blog last week and in the process of trying to post a comment here she created a blog for herself, and has flung herself into the blogging world gung-ho and with all guns blazing. (See the link on the left to Bex's Madcap Family). I think she has posted about 10 times in the last 5 days or something. But what's niggling me is that she is BLOODY GOOD AT IT!!! I'm sooo jealous. Her posts are interesting and funny and they are making me feel inadequate!! (Don't stop Becky - I'm not annoyed at you personally, I just wish I could be as good). What's worse is that when I left my job where Becky works, I went off telling everyone I was going to write a book, and it hasn't happened. I have done 25,000 words which is an achievement in itself but have got stuck and distracted by other things, mostly knitting.

My husband did the same thing to me a few years ago, when I previously decided I was going to be "a writer". I wrote a couple of short stories, which I didn't do much with but I thought they were quite good at the time. Then along comes Colin, writes one story, sends it off and promptly gets published!! Grrrrrr!! I didn't write anything again for a good few years.

However, I am not going to stop blogging cos I really enjoy it, and keep up the good work Becky, I love reading your posts. I will get back to the book too.

Last Thursday evening we decided to pop up to Border's to get a Starbuck's after dinner. I had a good old nosey through the knitting books but despite spending probably over an hour there, I came out empty handed. This wouldn't do, so Friday morning before coming to work I went onto The Book Depository's website and ordered some books at much cheaper than shop prices and with free P+P to boot. Two of them came today. One is The Knitter's Handbook and is very glossy!! The other is The Knitting Answer Book.

Hopefully these should help me either when I have a disaster of if I want to try to make a design up myself. I need to have a good look through them first though.

Today I did the basic First Aid course at work. The morning really consisted of watching everyone else's bottoms bouncing about as they did chest compressions on the dummy and hoping mine didn't look the same to them when I did it. Then we groped each other for a while to check if we had any broken bones and finally a bit of bondage as we tied each other up with bandages. I'm not sure if I learned anything at all!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A bit of catching up to do...........

The weekend was a bit mad. Friday night I stayed up watching Comic Relief to see The Mighty Boosh. Every hour they kept tantalising me saying "coming up - The Mighty Boosh" until they finally graced our screens at 2.15am!!! It's always worth seeing the boys but why so late??? It wasn't as if they were swearing a lot or anything. It was also a sketch I've seen them do a couple of times before, but never mind, I enjoyed it anyway.

So trying to recover from that late night, we then went out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day down the pub on Saturday night, what with him indoors being a Paddy an' all. It was rather odd in that they had a disco on, never seen that down there before (not that I frequent the pub anyway.). We met up with some people I used to work with in the bookshop and we all ended up singing along to all the classic disco hits of our youth, ha ha!!

Sunday was spent food shopping, relaxing and catching up on a bit of knitting. The SKB is progressing nicely and I have now completed a sleeve and last night I finished the neckband. I think I picked up a few more stitches on the right neck than the left but I think I have gotten away with it. Blocking will help it along that last little bit.

Just one more sleeve to go but there is now a danger that I may run out of yarn just before the end. The ebay seller I got it from originally does sell single balls but it will have to come from the USA which is a pain. I will keep going and use all the yarn bits I have before I order another ball I may not need.

I also added to my Fabel scarf. I'd like to get this finished and post it on the garnstudio forum just to see if I can encourage anyone else along. I have posted a couple of progress pics but no-one else seems to be taking part. Unless they are all keeping quiet till the last minute.

My mum was pleased with her felted bag for Mother's Day. Now she wants another one in beige for the summer. I will probably make it a bit squarer with a plain flap. The good news is that Scandinavian Knitting Design seem to have reduced all their prices from this week. You can now get 100g of sock yarn for £2.90!! Now that's a bargain.

I decided to order the yarn for the Lace Panel Cardigan from ebay seller Oregon Trail. In their 2nds section they are selling single skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in a "Lipstick Red". It is a colour that wasn't quite right so it went in the bargain bin. The Addis are also on order from Kangaroo.

I had a phone call from Becky, who I used to work with on Friday night too. I didn't recognise her voice which is shocking!! Sorry, Bex! I've left a "little" something for you on the sidebar!! It seems our mutual friend's wife still hasn't produced and is now 9 days overdue. They all thought it had happened yesterday when he didn't come into work, but it seems he had a little "almost cut my finger off" accident. Must be the nerves getting to him.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What card are you?

T had this on her blog so I gave it a go! Hey, T, I AM THE MOON (and I don't pay for nuffink!!)

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Spooky stuff, what with all my mad dreams and Booshieness!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

3BTs, walking wounded and GRSSSs.

3 BTs (haven't done this for a while but I have 3 for today)
1. Every year we have blackbirds in our back garden and usually they make a nest somewhere either in the forsythia or the clematis. Recently I have noticed a male nosing about in the garden, but unusually he has some pure white feathers in his tail. I have christened him "Flash".
2. All the magnolia bushes are out in flower in the nieghbours' gardens. Funny though, they are all pink, not magnolia!
3. When I'm walking the dog, there is a huge privet hedge that we pass. It is usually full of twittering sparrows which all fall silent as we pass and then start up again when we have gone past.

I have sustained another injury, what am I like? This morning while wandering around with no socks on I kicked the leg of the spare bed with my little toe and we all know how much that hurts! It has now gone rather black looking, and hard to walk on. Maybe the boss will give me a day off tomorrow!!

I haven't heard anything about my Glam Rock Ski Suit Socks that I sent to the Simply Knitting competition, and I haven't had them returned either. The closing date was 1st March and the best 30 are due to be shown for judging at the Stitch & Craft show in Olympia next weekend. I can only guess that it is one of three things.
1. Mine are in the top 30 - hahahaha, not likely!
2. They got lost in the post either going or coming back.
3. The judges have all fallen about in hysterics and chucked them straight in the bin.
Hmmm, which could it be?

Scrap that!

Scrap yesterday's comments about the circs and DPNs. Because of the increases to flare the arms, it is more practical to use the DPNs (I am using 5 which also makes it easier to try on without having to use scrap yarn).

The olive wool came this morning from ebay. I'll take a pic later. I just had time to do a quick swatch and wash it, so it is drying. The actual wool is quite rough, but it has softened significantly after washing. I think I should be able to get gauge on it, but not sure if I want a whole cardigan in the colour. Maybe I'll make a load of little felted bags and sell them?

Don't forget to watch the Masterchef final on TV tonight. I think it is on at 8pm, BBC2. I have really enjoyed the series, and despite thinking Ben was going to win all week, I now think it might be Steven. We shall wait and see.

I've also been enjoying the cringeworthyness of Comic Relief does Fame Academy. Sometimes it is worse than fingernails down a blackboard!! And I haven't a clue what the judges are listening to, its not what I'm hearing anyway!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Work, and a little else

A quick update on what I have been up to since starting work.........

In work - I have been setting up mailing lists and sending out change of address letters, organising the filing and what goes in which drawer etc, answering the phone and making tea & coffee!!! And getting on with my Excel course. It is not as easy now, it is all stuff I would not have a clue about unless I was working through the course. I have completed 9 out of 13 modules now, and have my second assignment to do and send in for marking.

Away from work - As I am not at home all day now my knitting frenzy has slowed down. I have just finished the lace on the first sleeve of the SKB. I decided I would do one sleeve, then the neckband, and then the other sleeve, to break it up a bit. I have found the setback with a top down sweater. When you do the sleeves in the round you have the whole sweater to pick up and turn every time. I found the DPNs a bit awkward too so I may get myself another 3.25 circular and work on two circs for the second sleeve. I have two 5mm so I am going to work on those for the rest of this sleeve and see if it is better than the DPNs. Is it right ladies, that we are supposed to finish this KAL by the end of the month?

I have also got to work on my scarf, thing is I think I'm the only person doing this KAL. Pity. Perhaps it was wrong for it to be restricted to the Fabel yarn.

I bought some yarn from ebay yesterday, 10 x 100g balls of an olive tweed chunky for £10 including P+P. It says it is 100% wool!! Will post a pic when it arrives. I got it to see if it would look okay with the sweaterbabe cardigan. If not I am going to get some Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky from an ebay seller in the USA who sells it on 1lb cones (= to 4 skeins). They have all kinds of different colours and it should work out cheaper than getting it from getknitted or somewhere in the UK. I really fancy doing it in red like on the pattern, it has always been a good colour on me.

I am getting tantalisingly near to finishing my first book of 2007. I am disgusted with myself to be honest. Before I discovered the evil knitting I read loads and read over 50 books last year. I haven't even finished one this year yet!!! and I have a stack of approx 60 books to be read next to my bed. I will be glad to get this book out of the way though. It is Map of Bones by James Rollins. It is all a bit DaVinci Code, and also similar to a Matthew Reilly book Seven Ancient Wonders. If you haven't read a Matthew Reilly, do it now. Ice Station is the one to start with. If you like action movies, this is like reading one, and it leaves you out of breath. You have forget about "that would never happen" moments and just read. Brilliant. And a great central character. Try it, you might like it!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

2 WIPs and work

My SKB is coming along nicely. I have finished the body, and now have to decide whether to go onto the arms as in the pattern or do the collar. I know that if I leave the collar to last I will put it off cos I hate picking up stitches. Maybe I'll do one sleeve then the collar then the other sleeve. Anyway, the fit is great, snug but not too tight.

And this is my progress on the Dragon Scales scarf for the garnstudio competition.

I have also downloaded the pattern for the Lace Inset Cardigan from which I think is gorgeous. And I may be able to get some Brown Sheep Bulky at a good price too which is the yarn used in the pattern. But we'll see because my knitting time will be seriously cut now and I don't want to have loads of things waiting to be made which never get done.

So, Friday I started work. I think I was there from about 10.30 til 4.15. So I managed to miss the traffic both ways! At the moment it is a case of working out what needs to be done, and what work I can take over that Colin is doing himself at the moment. I must say the actual building is very quiet, even though there are probably about 30 businesses in there altogether. I hardly saw anyone on my trips to the loo or kitchen. Everyone keeps their blinds closed on their windows too (every room has a window onto the corridor) so I couldn't have a good old nosey in!

Today we walked into town and had lunch in the tex-mex place. We were the only ones in there and it still took ages to get our food. It wasn't as good as the last time we went there a couple of years ago.

Am getting on well with the Excel, I am about half way through the modules and finding it pretty easy going so far. Now that the broadband is on at work I can get on and do it there, without knitting to distract me!!

I bought the Mint Royale CD Pop Is.... on Saturday. Mainly for Blue Song but I actually really like most of it. I had a good old jiggle around the kitchen while I was cooking the dinner. That's one CD that'll be going into the car.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SKB progress & Fabel

Here is my progress so far, I think I have another repeat of the 4 chevron lace rows to reach the 3 inches required and then I can do the purl ridges. Then I will try it on and keep my fingers crossed!

My back order came this morning from Scandinavian Knitting Design. It is my Fabel 677. I had thought there was more purple in it, but the colour is still very nice, quite turquoise-y.

But now I have to get on with my Excel course, I only have until the 20th to finish it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

For the SKB KALers

I am having a bit of a mad week, trying to start work, visitors coming tomorrow, several knitting bits to finish off etc etc.

But I just wanted to post a quick update to let the SKB KALers know where I'm up to. I have got the sleeves on waste yarn, have joined the round and am about half way through the 3 inches of chevron lace on the main body. I think I may put it on waste yarn and try it on when I get to the end of this bit ie the other set of purl ridges, before I carry on down with the hip shaping. Will post a pic when I do that.

I'm really enjoying making this, even though it is a bit fiddly using 2 strands together (and now 3, because I have added in a metallic thread for the lace). So how are the rest of you getting on? I know T has started and that she is away, but I don't know about anyone else yet. Hope you are all enjoying it though.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Doggy mishap & SKB KAL

Oh dear, it seems I tempted fate with my post the other day where I mentioned tripping over long trouser legs and falling down the stairs. It wasn't long trousers that were the culprit though. When I go up and down the stairs, the dog tends to follow me and pass me about half way. So this morning I was coming down the stairs, dog passed and I accidently stood on his tail! Next second I am on my backside sliding down 3 or 4 stairs, and hyperventilating from the shock. What was worse was that I had my insulin pump in my back pocket and as I came down with a hell of a bump I landed right on it, so I now have a very nice lump and bruise developing!! (The pump survived thank goodness, after all I have only had it 2 days!) Afterwards I had that strange emotional turmoil where you are crying from being hurt and being in shock, but you also can't help thinking how stupid it was and wondering how it must have looked and sounded to someone else as you screech and vanish from sight behind the bannisters, and so you fall about in a fit of giggles at the same time!! And then you swing backwards and forwards between the two! Thinking about it now, it's just the giggling part I'm getting.

So Thursday was the starting date for the informal KAL. I thought I wouldn't be able to start but the postman arrived with my Addis, which I was very surprised about. I had ordered them 2 days before from Kangaroo and had expected that a) they wouldn't have the sizes I wanted in stock, or b) it would take a week or so because their P+P is free. I was wrong on both counts. And they sent me a free pair of teddy bear needle huggers (scroll to bottom of page) for the DPNs I ordered.

And here is my progress so far......

This was the scary bit where I put all the stitches on spare yarn and pulled out the needle. Never done that before!! Yikes, but luckily no mishaps.

And this is what it looks like on. I think the size is just right (all the swatching was worth it!) and I really like the way the colour is working. I was trying to hold the corners of the sleeves together under my arm. The top picture is the best colour representation, even though taken indoors with a flash. Because of the swatching I am using 5mm and 3.25mm needles instead of the 4.5mm and 3.5mm stated in the pattern.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The nearest book

I'm just going to do this thingybob today as I am KALing and want to get on with it!! But I was tagged by Carolyn so I thought I'd better.........

1. Find the nearest book - behind me in my stack of books for bookcrossing

2. Name the book & the author - A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

3.Turn to page 123. - it just happens to be the first page of Chapter 8

4. Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next three sentences onto your blog - What the Scardale villagers also had in common was their complete mystification at Alison's disappearance. As Clough had predicted, few were willing to volunteer even the little that Brian Carter had given. Most of the conversations were an uphill struggle.

5. Tag 3 more people. - really sorry, I don't know many people with blogs so I've had to pick these 3.....

Sorry guys, but it is a short one! Now, back to that bodice!! It's good fun actually, I've never done a top down sweater before.