Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Canal, gloves & hands

Sunday morning we went for a short walk along the canal at Christleton. This is the view facing one way........
And this is the view facing the other way.............
Some strange bloke decided to get in the photo...oh no, hang on, that's Colin!!

These handsome fellas were trying to round up some lady friends but they weren't too interested!
Yesterday I finished off Mandy's Miss Potter gloves, so that is the Christmas knitting finished and I can knit my other Jaywalker.

I am also getting an itch to start another Clapotis (correctly pronounced Clah-poh-tee apparently, I thought it was Clap-oh-tiss, but what do I know!). And I am swatching for a Mr Greenjeans.

I shouldn't really start anything at the moment, cos my operation is on January 11th. Some people have commented on whether I really need to have the op seeing as I am back knitting again. The fact is that the break did give the hands a rest and they are not sore when I knit but I still cannot bend my left thumb or right little finger. This causes problems with everyday things like writing and opening jars etc so yes, I am still going to need the surgery. But thanks for your concern!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Knitting podcasts

A few weeks ago I was talking about my iPod and how I had discovered podcasts. These were limited to podcasts from radio shows I like, like Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand. Well, I have been on iTunes and found knitting podcasts. So far I have only tried a couple of them. The first one is called pointysticks by Christine Selleck. She hasn't updated recently but there are a lot of back issues to listen to. It is not all necessarily about knitting but somehow I can listen to Christine wittering on for an hour or so. She has a very southern USA drawl (she is from Texas) and her voice is strangely soporific. There is even music on there that I quite like or at least don't go "Ulgh!" and fast forward. From that podcast I found Cast On by Brenda Dayne. I didn't like the voice as much on this one and I must admit to drifting off a bit and not quite listening, but I have only heard the first episode so will persevere.

What is bizarre about listening to a knitting podcast is that you aren't really learning anything because how could you learn anything about knitting from just audio? You have to be shown a technique to see how it is done. But they aren't about that. I guess they are really an audio version of a blog. Both talk about what they may have read about knitting, LYSs they have been to and what is on their needles at the moment, and any challenges they are facing with their WIPs. The first episode of pointysticks starts off talking about Jaywalker socks which I'm doing at the moment, so it was really topical for me.

To find these podcasts just go to iTunes, which is free to download, and type knitting podcast into the search box. Or you can use the links above to go to the websites and find the links from there. You don't need an iPod to listen, you can just listen on the computer.

Talking of Jaywalkers, I finished the first one yesterday.I am now starting on the second one of these
in order to avoid second sock and second glove syndrome. So the sequence is 1 glove, 1 sock, 2nd glove, 2nd sock. Seems to be working

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jaywalkers, Mike's hat & zoo

Here is the progress so far on my first pair of Jaywalkers. I really like how the stripes are working out, but I'm not sure if it is that Tiger-ish, apart from the colour. I have finished the gusset so it is a straight run down to the toe.

Mike was really chuffed with his Tundra hat and wore it around the office for a while. Goodness knows what his wife said when he arrived home with it.
Finally a couple more photos from our zoo trip on Sunday. I forgot to look to see what this bird was but the birds tend to get neglected in favour of more exciting animals so I thought I'd make this one feel loved by taking its picture.
And here are the lions enjoying their lunch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Squeaky Green

I have been using Squeaky Green shampoo bar from Lush. It is good for the environment and doesn't use palm oil products which is good news for orangutans. Most of their habitat is being destroyed for palm oil plantations. And it is a half decent shampoo too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hat, zoo, and eels.

Mike's hat is finished. This was a different yarn to the one I made mine in and shrank more vertically than horizontally, but a bit of blocking has done the trick. It is just about dry and will be handed over to Mike tomorrow. Hope he likes it.

In other knitting, I have finished one Miss Potter. I have decided to just make one pair though, in case I get fed up of the pattern.

We have a friend called Paul who we know from our student days. He is originally from South Wales but now lives in Fife with his wife Audrey and their 2 year old son Elliot. Every now and again we get a phone call from Paul, saying he is about half an hour away and can they pop in. Somehow we are usually in and not busy. It has become a bit of a standing joke. When I got home on Friday there was an answerphone message asking us to call him on his mobile. He was in the area but wondered if we were doing anything on Saturday. They were down for a family party in Lymm but were going to come over to the zoo, so we arranged to meet them. And here they are................The fourth person is Paul's niece Katie. We had a lovely day wandering around the zoo. It was very chilly though, and I should have taken my Tundra hat, but Paul came to the resue with a hat for me. Here I am wearing it, and discovering that one of the chimps has been named after me, hah hah.
Here are some leaf cutter ants doing their thing and carrying chunks of orange peel up to the top of the tree trunk. (Click the picture to see it better)
They also have prairie dogs where you can go through a tunnel and pop up inside a dome in the enclosure..........
Well Kate Garraway got voted off Strictly Come Dancing last night. At last!! It was getting a bit silly keeping her in as she was dreadful. I'm still not sure who the winner is going to be, but I think Kelly, Alisha and Matt have a good chance. Also been watching Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on Sunday evenings. They are travelling from John O'Groats to Cape Town on motorbikes through Africa.

Have you seen the film Team America - World Police? It is all done with string puppets but is definitely NOT for kids. When I first started watching it I though it was rubbish but I stuck with it and it turned out to be really funny. A p**s take of Tom Cruise films like Top Gun. Check it out if you haven't already.

I'll leave you with a little song..........
"Eels, eels, eels, eels..............Eels up inside ya! Finding an entrance where they can........."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Boosh Day!!! & op date

Yay, Mighty Boosh series 3 starts today. I've just listened to them on Jo Whiley in the Live Lounge. They sang Love Games and the Soup Song. Chris Moyles let me down this morning by saying he doesn't like them!!!!!!!!!!

I have a new date for my hand operation - 11th January. Better get all my WIPs finished by then!! I am about half done on Mike's hat, 10% done on the jaywalkers, 45% on the Drops cardi, and I have decided to make 2 pairs of Miss Potter mitts for Christmas presents. Yikes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Additions to the stash

Last Tuesday at work, I was looking at my page on ravelry and one of the guys who rents a room from us saw my Vince hat and wanted to see it in real life. So on Thursday I took it in and when he'd tried it on he asked if I could make him one!! He reckons his daughter will steal it though. But I went on ebay and found this...........
They assure me it will felt at 60 degrees but I'll swatch first. Also last week I got this from ebay.............. It is 75% BFL/25% nylon sock yarn called Tiger Stripe and I have started a pair of Jaywalkers in it............
Then I discovered Angels & Elephants (again on ebay) and ordered these............

The first one is called Candy Floss and the second one is called Tamar. This is 100% shetland sock weight.

On Sunday we went up to the Lake District. A couple of friends were renting a cottage for the week to do some walking and they invited us to go up for a night. So we went Sunday morning and got there about 12.30 just in time for a yummy pub lunch. In the afternoon we went to visit Fairfield Mill near Sedbergh. There was a working loom and water wheel and lots of handmade crafts to buy. There were also displays of the history of the mill and the Terrible Knitters of Dent. All the way round there were baskets of yarn, but it was all for display, very frustrating. But when we got to the far end there was a shelf of "mill ends" and I grabbed these...........
There is over 1200g of fingering weight yarn there, goodness knows the yardage, all for £6!!!

The awful thing was we also had to share the cottage with this creature..........This is Molly, ain't she cute? Sadly, Mandy wouldn't let us keep her!

This is the progress so far on the cardigan. One more front and then the sleeves. Not looking forward to doing the neckband, I have read through it and it sounds a bit complicated, eek!
Two days to go to series 3 of The Mighty Boosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cardi progress

My Drops 88-4 cardigan is coming along nicely. I have now finished all the cable-y bits and am on to larger needles and plain stocking stitch so it should grow quicker now. The little cables were driving me bonkers but I still have to do them again on 2 sleeves!! There will be less of them each time though, there were 14 of them across the body!!

Now I have a question...........I want to make a cardigan in a neutral colour that will go with purple, blue, grey, red, green or white (or any colour you can think of really!!!). What colour do you suggest? Please don't say black, I can't bear the thought of knitting with black, I think I may go blind, eek. (If you are wondering, these mentioned colours are all colours of tops I have which I would wear underneath the cardigan in question.) Please leave any suggestions in the comments.

Yesterday we went for a walk around the Marine Lake in West Kirby on the Wirral. Half way round we veered off up a side road to a cafe I had spotted on the way, called Sand's. We sat outside and the sun was so warm I had to take off my fleece!! While we were sat there I put a bookcrossing book on a chair at another table, and one of the staff had a look. Then she told someone else and they came and took it inside. Later in the evening I had a journal entry on it. Yay!! My catch rate on my wild releases currently sits at 18.9% so roughly 1 in 5. Not bad.

We had a brief discussion about how we felt about another dog. Colin's thoughts were "I'd probably have to do most of the walking etc, BUT they are lovely", "they are a commitment BUT they are lovely". Mine were, "you do have to think about getting home when you are out or arranging kennels if you go away BUT they are lovely". Hmmm, no conclusions there then. It is a bit too soon yet anyway, and we need to get Colin's treatment out of the way first.

Talking of which, it is going fine so far. The only effect has been that his arm is going a bit pink, but being a redhead he burns easily anyway so it looks as if he has caught a little bit of sun on one arm only. No tiredness or nausea so far, so he is happy to drive over to his appointments on his own for now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vince's Tundra Hat!

On ravelry, I am one of the moderators on the group called The Coconut Lodge, which is for fans of The Mighty Boosh to chat about the Boosh and also show off any Boosh-inspired knits. Knittyinpink suggested we had a bit of a knitalong based on the hat that Vince wears in the series 1 episode Tundra. I found a couple of suitable-ish patterns but I wanted to make a felted hat. I was using the leftover Lamb's Pride bulky from the Fabulous Lace Inset Cardigan, and 8mm needles, so I went with Ryan's Hat from here but using the larger yarn and needles. Once I started it was a quick knit, and grew very rapidly into this..............
I was a little bit worried it wasn't going to shrink enough during the felting, but after 2 goes through the 40 degree cycle it came out like this................
(that's me pretending to be Vince asleep in the snow, didn't quite carry it off!!)

Anyway, I'm really pleased with it, apart from it maybe could be a bit taller. It is worked down from the top, so maybe the increases could have been done on every 3rd row instead of every 2nd row. I had bits of skeins left so I think I used about one and 3 quarter skeins on it. I'm not sure if I will add any Booshy embellishments, I'll see what everyone else does with theirs first. I don't want to make it so that I don't want to wear it in public for fear of ridicule, at the moment I think it is wearable apart from being very RED. I shall have to get one of the red T-shirts with the lightning bolts on, and then I can wear it with that and the Glam Rock Ski Suit Socks while I'm watching the DVDs!! (Colin thinks I'm bonkers!).

We had a lovely evening with Gill on Sunday, and then Tuesday we met up with some friends who moved back to Ireland in January, and who were over for a visit to sort out some things on the house they are trying to sell. We had lunch at The Rake near Cheshire Oaks and then popped into Borders for coffee afterwards. We were too busy chatting that I didn't get a chance to look at any books!!!

Yesterday we went over to Manchester for Colin's first radiotherapy appointment. I sat in the waiting area listening to the Jonathon Ross podcast and trying not to make a show of myself by stifling my sniggering. I did think of taking some knitting but I think sniggering and knitting in a corner may have resulted in 'the men in white coats' carrying me off!! The session all went fine and there were no nasty effects so he is going to go on his own for a couple of weeks, and then see if he needs me to drive after that. I gave him a session of Reiki last night to help things along, and I'll do about a 20 minute top up each day.

So it means I don't get to skive off work now!! Pah!