Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Exercise can be fun!

Phew, I've just finished a gruelling 45 minute tennis match!! I haven't done so much exercise in years! You may be wondering how I managed to play tennis in the dark - I did it in my living room. No I don't live in a huge mansion with a lounge the size of a tennis court, I used the new Wii. Colin got it for us for Christmas and it is proving very popular. We got Wii Sports and Wii Fit with it and then we got Mario Kart and Tomb Raider as well. I haven't had a go at Mario yet, but Lara Croft is currently near the end of level 2.

The first time I tried the Wii Fit we were in hysterics, at one point I nearly passed out from lack of breath I was laughing so much. It told me my WiiFit age was 56 for a start! Then I tried a bit of skiing where you move from side to side on the Fit Board to make yourself turn left and right. I screamed and laughed the whole way down the hill!

There are lots of balance games, and aerobic things, yoga and stregth exercises on the WiiFit but I think I prefer the Sports where you can do tennis, bowling, baseball, golf and boxing. The boxing is brilliant cos you can beat the crap out of the other guy!

My Wii Fit age is currently 41.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Am I really related to these two?

This is what greeted us when the webcam fired up this morning!!! At least they like their hats! Ain't modern technology wonderful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Johnny Two Hats.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas Day so..................


I have been quite industrious over the last few days and finished two hats.

The first is the Koolhaas, knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and the second is called A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend, made with Istex Lett Lopi 100% Icelandic wool, but seeing as I don't have a boyfriend I have called it something else. Can't tell you what as otherwise its recipient will guess it is for them. This one took less than a skein of yarn (about 84 metres) to make so I have another ball left over to make another, and the two skeins in brown.

I am really pleased with the Koolhaas, it is a lovely pattern and I love how it finishes in the middle with that perfect little circle like the underneath of a starfish (click pictures for extreme close-up). Thanks go to my lovely glamorous assistant for modelling them!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A celebrity in our midst.........

..........well a celebrity in the world of knitting anyway. Jeni from Fyberspates has just moved to the area from Cardiff and she and her partner Andy from bluefaced.com joined us for a select gathering at Stash yesterday. And she has said that she will come to the knitting group at Borders.

Becca was working on a mitts pattern which Jeni had written so it was handy for her to have her on hand to clarify some of the instructions. In the meantime I spent at least an hour unpicking an extremely tight cast off that she had done on a pair of toe-up socks, which wouldn't fit a mouse's leg let alone the human recipient's. The cast off she had used was supposedly called "a super stretchy cast off" but I think that should be reported to Trading Standards! Anyway I got it sorted and did a loose rib cast off and she was happy with that.

I managed to add 3 rows to my hat and bought some Lopi Aran to make a couple more. Not Koolhaas but some simple ribbed hats, probably using this pattern. Ruth had brought along a lovely book of vintage knitting patterns which she bought at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show - a show she wasn't overly impressed with due to the lack of knitting stands. Anne had Inspired to Knit and Glam Knits which we all had a look at. I think I preferred the first one.

I'd like to thank Anne for her hospitality and for providing tea, coffee and yummy edible goodies.

Have a look at the photos on this amazing blog. I found it through "Blogs of Note" on the blogger dashboard. Wouldn't fancy that hobby myself!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A little something I'm working on at the moment is a Koolhaas hat. Karen was kind enough to give me this pattern and I chose some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to do it in. I have a bit of a thing for red at the moment so I am using this lovely wine red colour.

I started off using a cable needle but it got very fiddly so I am now using the method where you don't use the cable needle. It takes a bit of concentration but I have got the hang of it now.

This afternoon is the extra knitting group meeting which we are having at Stash. This is going to be very tempting with all their lovely yarns around. I may get some for another hat!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yummy socks!

Here are the socks I finished last night.

Pattern: 9 to 5 socks
Yarn: Wild Fire Fibres Manyana Merino/Tencel sock yarn
Needles: Addi lace 2.5mm using magic loop
Mods: none

One of those meme things!

I got tagged by Sarah. I haven't done one of these for ages so I'll do it.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was working in a small independent bookshop, part time.

2)What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
- go into work and update the bookkeeping
- figure out which yarn I am going to use for a Koolhaas hat
- take photos of the socks I finished last night and post them on ravelry
- try not to fall asleep for most of the afternoon like I did yesterday!
- check the tyre pressures on my car

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Pringles, pistachio nuts, chocolate, chocolate chip Yumbles.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I am very bad at spending, but I would pay off my family's mortgages and give them some to play with, get myself some decent clothes, get a big house with room for lots of dogs to run around. And probably just save the rest!!

5) Places I have lived
Southampton, England
Bangor, Wales
Wrexham, Wales
Chester, England

7) 5 people I want to know more about

Don't ask me what happened to number 6, it was like that when I copied it o

Saturday, December 13, 2008


On a whim on Wednesday I ordered some Moo mini cards. You get 100 for £9.99 + P+P. You can have any text you like on the back and you can get quite a lot on them. I have my name, address, phone, blog address and email address on mine. I painstakingly went through and chose 100 different designs from the thousands available but you can also upload your own pictures or designs. You can have minicards, postcards, greeting cards & stickers.
(click pic for close up)

These are some of my favourite ones from the ones I chose

Cute eh? They said that they would take 7-14 days to dispatch but they arrived in 3, great service!

Looky looky what I've got.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New knitty

Wahey, I'm getting my new car tomorrow! Happy Christmas to me!

The last knitting group of the year was on Tuesday evening. It was a smallish turnout, only 8 of us but nice. J and I took some goodies - she brought mince pies and I brought choccies. Needless to say with so few people we took the leftovers home, but we are having a mini meeting at Stash on 18th December so I'll take what's left (ahem, the amount is getting less each day!) to that.

I am working on my 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton) socks at the moment, I have half of the second one to go having just picked up the stitches around the heel flap. This is done from the back on this pair so the stitches show down the edge on the outside of the sock. A photo would be better to show this so I'll do that when they are finished.

The new Knitty is up! I like Amused and Surface without the extra bit. Gwynedd is nice too.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Second Fetchings

My second pair of Fetching gloves finished last night

Pattern: Fetching from knitty.com
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere from Stash Fine Yarns in Chester
Needles: 4mm KnitPicks Harmony interchangeables using magic loop
Mods: cast on 40 stitches instead of 45 and did plain cast off instead of picot.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bit of catching up

I've got a bit of catching up to do. Somehow, since the end of the frantic NaNo month I have lost the desire to write anything. I need to get back into the habit of blogging rather than novelling.

As for "the novel", I haven't even read it myself yet. I am going to do what they say and not look at it until January. Then I will read it and decide if I am going to work on it further (- I can hear Colin shouting "you must, you must" from here!) We'll see. Now that the month has finished I can look back on it and say that I enjoyed the challenge and the satisfaction of winning, and will probably do it again next year. But it was a struggle some days.

So what do I need to catch up on? Oh yeah, we went to see The Mighty Boosh again last Tuesday at the Manchester Apollo. When I ordered the tickets back in December 2007(!) I got four and up to a few weeks ago there were three of us going. But number three dropped out so I asked Becca and Mark if they wanted to come. Apparently Mark was pretty excited about it but Becca hadn't really seen the Boosh before and wasn't sure what to expect. Anyway, we went and got there despite the stupid sat nav sending us the wrong way. I think I enjoyed it more this time because the seats were much better (row M in the stalls and I was on the end on the aisle so the Hitcher walked right past me) and we could see everything on the stage. Becca was clapping, shouting and laughing in all the right places so I'm happy that she enjoyed it. During the interval, Paul King, the TV series director was talking to the guy in front of me but I didn't realise it was him 'til he was walking away!

I know Nina likes a book review every now and again so here is my latest. Angels of 9/11 by Caitlin Walsh. This is the story of a man who died in 1980 and has been watching over his son ever since. He knows that his son is going to die in the Twin Towers and he helps him to cross over. Then it all gets a bit evangelical about doing good while you are on earth, and sort of becomes a self help book in novel form. Its okay if you believe in life after death etc, but I'm not sure I really liked it.

On Saturday I am getting a new car. The one I wanted a few months ago, a Mazda 2.

On the needles I have another pair of Fetching. Can't show them though, shhhh!! It is knitting group tomorrow night and myself and my co-organiser are taking mince pies and sweeties for everyone to wish them a Merry Christmas. Think I might take some photos too!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Knitting content at last

My first pair of Fetching gloves. These only took a couple of evenings work so I am going to make some more.

Pattern: Fetching from knitty.com
Yarn: Mirasol Miski - one and a half skeins (approx 75g)
Needles: KnitPicks interchangeables 4mm using magic loop.
Mods: added an extra cable at the knuckles, and one extra row on the thumb.

They are quite fluffy and I am a bit concerned they will pill easily but the next ones are going to be in this........Debbie Bliss pure cashmere which was on offer in Stash. I treated myself because it was a reward for finishing NaNo.

I also got some KnitPicks DPNs in 4mm, 20cm long but when I used them I found that I definitely prefer two circs or magic loop so I'm happy to sell them on if anyone wants them. Leave a comment and I'll get back to you. If not I'll put them on ebay!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Reality bites

Today I go back to the real world. I have to stop slacking off and thinking I am a "writer" and pull my finger out at the office. But first a couple of statistics.

Out of 119,390 NaNoWriMo participants, 17.9% passed the finishing line.
There are now 21,400 first draft novels in the world which didn't exist 30 days ago.
A total of 1,429,996,336 words were written in the month of November.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh my God, I actually did it!!

I've only gone and bloomin' done it!!! With a total of 51,526 words (4793 of which I did in a blur today!) I am now a novelist!!! Chocolate, I need chocolate!! And a bit of a lie down!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nearly there.

Two 3,000 word days in a row have got me back on track! I have caufght up and am now 800 or so words ahead. Less than 6,000 to go, so I'm hoping to finish early.

I am going to treat myself to something yarny when I finish. What should I get?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A mini break

We had a couple of days away in Gloucester this weekend. We went down for a 40th birthday party of someone I knew at university. I hadn't seen her since our wedding over 14 years ago, but she looked exactly the same. Her husband used to play in a band at uni and they did a bit of a mini reunion which was good fun. A bit ropey but considering they hadn't played together for 20 years and only had a quick rehearsal that afternoon it wasn't too bad.

While we were in the area we also met up with some friends who live in Stroud and had a wander around the town, which is very pretty and has lots of little unique shops. Different to the usual big brand high street shops that seem to be in every town now.

Of course when you stay in a hotel you have to get your money's worth from the cooked breakfast, but that meant I had 3 cooked breakfasts in a week, if you include last Sunday too. I'd better lay off them for a while I think!

I did take the laptop with me but to be honest I wanted a break from the writing. I managed 600 words on Saturday, but this meant that by yesterday I was 4200 words behind schedule for Nano! I worked out that with 8 days and 16000 words to go, I need to do 2000 words a day to meet the target. When we got back yesterday I managed 2000 words and the same again today. I'm still behind obviously but should catch up just at the right time ie on the last day! It's going to be a race to the finish. It funny how an extra 333 words a day doesn't sound much but is a huge psychological barrier.

While we were away both my new target in Sock Wars Day of the Dead and I received our socks so we think we have a draw. The organiser doesn't seem to think this can happen but it obviously has. And to top it all she isn't prepared to sort it out until after Thanksgiving, which doesn't even register on the consciousness of most people in the UK. So I'm declaring myself dead and my partner can carry on and hopefully win. The socks I got do have purple in them so I'm happy to keep them.

I will fill in with photos soon, at the moment all my spare time is spent either writing, or thinking about writing. I'll be glad when its over. I haven't thought about Christmas, it still seems to early but its basically only 4 weeks away, aaarrggghhhh!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Animals do the funniest things.

I just saw this youtube video on another blog, and it made me laugh out loud


It's the reaction of the mother that gets me!! Make sure the sound is on when you watch it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Luck

I managed to finish something for a change. Not a great picture, (it's obvious I haven't been on a course to learn about my new camera yet!) but this is my finished Good Luck Cowl in Noro Kureyon sock yarn.

I was going to keep going until the yarn ran out but this is about half a ball so it would have been twice the size, far too long. At least I can get another one out of the same ball.

I'm thinking I should maybe put it on now and not take it off for the next 15 days. I've managed to get to halfway in NaNoWriMo but I'm now going to need all the luck I can get to find another 25,000 words to finish it!!!

I am waiting to find out if I have killed my victim in the Day of the Dead sock wars prequel. I sent them off on Monday and she sent hers to me on Wednesday so it's a race to see which postal system is the fastest. I'm safe until Monday now at least. In the meantime I have cast on for a pair of Nine to Five socks using the Wild Fire Fibres merino/tencel. I had started a pair of the Teak Fingerless Mitts from the Boutique Knits book but the yarn really wanted to be socks so I frogged that. It is much happier paying homage to Dolly Parton! There is a free ravelry download if you want the pattern.

We are off to have a yummy cooked brekkie at the Blue Moon cafe in the morning with Becca & Mark,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Boutique knits

Aaarrgghhh!! It is already 2.30pm and I haven't written a word yet today. I will though, and by the end of today I will be over a third done!

I get an email every day from Knitting Daily which is associated with Interweave Press. Last week they were advertising this new book. Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin. There were a couple of pictures of the projects inside and I was taken with a pair of fingerless gloves. I checked on amazon uk and they said it would take 9-12 days. So I went with my old faithful Book Depository and it came this morning, 5 days later.

There are some cute projects in it, even some full size garments, but I liked these 3 best.

A head and shoulders hood,

a cute hat,

and these are the little gloves I liked in the first place. It is hard to tell, but in the detail on the back of the hand there are two different colours, both pink. You could use any two colours I suppose. There is not much of the second colour so you could use up left overs. They are made with sockweight/fingering weight yarn, so I think I have a little bit of that somewhere in the stash (ahem!!).

And these are the Day Of The Dead socks that I sent off to New York today. Feels a bit mean sending off half made socks but those were the rules. My partner hasn't finished hers yet so I may win this round and get to knit on, depending on the speed of the post of course.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Well maybe I'll go on a little bit......

Phew, week 1 is over and I have just finished my efforts for today. I have been struggling a bit for the last couple of days because I'd got to a bit where I wasn't overly sure what was going to happen, so it felt like a bit of a hurdle. Whereas I got over that hurdle by the end of yesterday and moved on to something else today and it just seemed to flow and I managed 1900 words in about 2 hours.

Apparently week 2 is supposed to be a difficult one though. At least I am over a quarter of the way now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Not going on about it

It's going to get a bit tedious for me to keep posting my NaNoWriMo total each day in a new post so I've added it to the sidebar and I'll update it there instead. As you can see I'm still up to speed. I managed to get finished by 11.30 this morning so if I'm feeling inspired I may add some more later.

I am a couple of rows off the end of the Day of the Dead sock 1. In the new rules you don't actually finish the sock because your original target is not necessarily the person who will receive them so you have to stop when the foot is 5inches long and send them like that for the recipient to finish themselves. Seems a bit disappointing to receive an unfinished pair really. I wonder how the winner will be determined. Will it be when their final target receives their unfinished sock or when that person finishes them? Maybe at that stage the socks will need to be finished by the assassin because the final recipient will be known. Have to wait and see won't we?

I had a text earlier to say that my Mighty Boosh tickets will be delivered tomorrow. If anyone is interested I will have a spare one which I'll be wanting to sell, so if you fancy going to the Manchester Apollo on Tuesday Dec 2nd, email me or leave a comment and we'll work something out.

I've just realised all my latest entries have been photo free! I'll have to do something about that, I much prefer blogs with photos. I'll take a pic of sock 1 and post it tomorrow. Until then I'd better do some work for a change!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Day 3

NaNoWriMo is going well so far. I had hoped to do 2000 words a day to get up a head of steam, but haven't quite managed that since Day 1. I am ahead of target though. I needed to have 5001 words done by now and I have 5360.

At the moment I am stopping with something left in the idea tank to start the next day's writing with. I think if I just wrote until I ran out of things to say I would worry about not having anything the next day. This way it can work away at my subconscious during the evening and night and see what comes out. I was watching TV and knitting last night when an idea popped into my head and I scurried upstairs to write it in my notebook.

I wouldn't say it was exactly fun, it is taking a good two hours at least to do each day, but it feels good when you get to that daily word target, and 5300 words is over a 10th of the way already.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Day One

Target - 1667 words
Actual - 2110 words

Halfway down the leg on sock 1.

Just in case anyone was curious!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

For Becca

Sorry you couldn't make it to knit group last night, here is a summary of events......

I arrived at Borders a little after 7 and went to where our table is usually. As is quite common, even though they know we have a knit group twice a month, there was nothing set up, and "our" table was full of bargain books. I asked at the desk where the knitting group was going to be and was shown a table near the music and DVD section. He even quickly printed off some "reserved for knit group" notices and put them on the table. I sat down and got out my Good Luck Cowl and started knitting. No-one else showed up. At quarter past I was still on my own and decided to give it till 8 o'clock and then make a discreet exit!

Luckily Karen and a non-knitting friend arrived about 7.20 so I was able to go and get a coffee (thanks Karen!) . While I was gone Averil came so there were a total of 4 of us, and that was how it stayed. It was suggested that people weren't there because it was half-term, but what do they do with the kids the other weeks that they come?

So I worked on the cowl, Karen worked on her Ice Queen and Averill was working on a jumper. I showed off my two FOs, the baby cardigan and the mystery socks, and Karen showed us two versions of a hat she'd started in two different colour yarns but the same pattern. The first one was a dark green/teal colour and didn't show up the cabling pattern too well, BUT it was made from Mirasol Miski, and OOOOOHHHHH SOOOOOOFFFFFTTTTTTT. I have two different colours of this yarn in my stash and I felt like running home right there and then and just doing something with it. No idea what, just anything. Wow, it was gorgeous. The second version was a lighter colour and suited the pattern much better but wasn't as soft.

Averil had a shop bought cardigan with her that she wants to copy. She has worked out the stitch pattern but needs to get the gauge and yarn weight right as it has felted a bit since she first had it.

Conversation went from Stash's opening hours to writing novels and journals, how it's a small world becasue I knew someone that Karen's friend knows, karate, the lack of soya milk in Starbucks, New Zealand, plumbers and bathroom conversions and how cold it's been lately.

We had to share the other end of the table with a book group but I never did catch on to what book they were discussing, I was too busy nattering.

I got home just after 9 and that was that. Hope there are more there next time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sneaking one in.

A Quick FO for you. The final clue for the Mystery Sock KAL came out today and I finished it in about an hour. It was a very simple toe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now I really need an idea!

Whoosh! There goes another week! Which is a bit worrying as it is now only 3 and a bit days to NaNoWriMo.

In fact I'm going to have to be very organised on Saturday or I'll come unstuck. I have to write at least 1667 words, get a flu jab and knit like a crazy woman on a pair of socks. I think the flu jab is about 9.30am, so I'll do that first, then get the words done and the socks will be the least of my priorities. I'm not overly bothered about being the fastest knitter, it is just testing out the new Sock Wars system anyway, the real thing doesn't happen until next year.

But before that I need to get the final Mystery sock clue (tomorrow) and finish them. Hopefully it will just be a normal simple toe so I can work on them tomorrow night at knitting club. I have also started a cowl in Noro sock yarn. It is a Good Luck Cowl and I am doing it in the rainbow colourway. I felt that the Noro sock yarn was too rough and scratchy for a pair of socks.

Something quite interesting happened over the weekend. I had a message from a woman on Facebook who claimed to remember me from school. She said she had been in the year above me. I didn't recognise the name at all but messaged back to ask what her name had been back then (in case it was a married name). Well, turns out when she was at school she had a totally different name because................she used to be a boy!!! I'm afraid I still didn't recognise her previous name but did remember a couple of the friends she mentioned. Anyway, how brave to make the decision to change her life completely. She's had the complete op and everything.

Well, on that bombshell, I'll sign off. If I go quiet over the next few weeks it's probably because I'm locked in a darkened room, smoking cheroots and drinking bourbon and trying to be a novelist! Hmmm, we shall see what crawls out at the end of November!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where do ideas come from?

Yesterday I started to get myself worked up over NaNoWriMo. The premise is that you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. You switch off your inner editor and inner critic and just write until you hit 50,000 words. This is basically 1667 words a day. Don't worry about whether it is well written, well punctuated, well structured...... just get the words down.

All well and good, if you actually have even a slight idea of what you are going to write about!

I discovered NaNo nearly 3 years ago. In January. NaNo takes place in November. So I'd missed it. But I wanted to give it a go and didn't want to wait nearly a year to do it officially. I decided I would do it on my own for the month of February. I had an idea floating in my head from a dream I had had, so on Feb 1st I started. And somehow the words came. I made my target the first day, and the second and the third......and the story was evolving quite nicely. I hit day 14 and struggled a bit but made the word count. Then I stopped. I had no idea what to write next. I missed a day, I missed another day, and by then I was 3300 odd words behind! That was the end of my NaNo effort.

BUT I had written 25,000 words which was 25,000 words more than I'd had 14 days earlier. I still have those words somewhere.

This time I am signed up to the official website to start along with everyone else around the world on November 1st. And until an hour ago I didn't really have any idea what I was going to write. Unfortunately you can't use something you have already started as everyone has to start on a level playing field (although I'm sure there are some out there who bend the rules a bit). I'd convinced myself I couldn't do it and that I was going to look stupid after telling people, including my knitting group, that I was going to write a novel in a month. What was I thinking telling them?

But suddenly, from somewhere I have the inklings of a plot. I've written it down quickly just in case I forget it. The whole outline for my novel is 3 lines long. All I have to do now is expand it to 50,000 words!!!

Oh heck!!!

And just to make it a little bit more difficult I accidentally signed up for a mini Sock Wars called Day of the Dead. Guess when it starts? November 1st!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ahh, aren't they sweet!

Congratulations to Mel and Stu who got married on Saturday!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Puddin' and pie

Yay, how cool, I have 3 followers already!

Just a quick FO to show today. This is the cardi I made for George. I'm not sure whether to just leave it open or add one button as it says in the pattern.

I'm not sure what to do now. I can't do any more on the mystery sock and the other WIPs I have are just not inspiring me. They are at stages where something fiddly has to happen and I can't be bothered with them at the moment. But I want to knit this evening. I don't want to start Ice Queen because I can't work out the provisional cast on and I don't want to cast on 164 stitches that I can't get to later on. I think I'll go back to the Glacier Lake socks. I started them but ripped them out because they were too wide on the 2.5mm needles. I have 2mm ones now so I think I'll start those.

Of course I could always have a think about what my 50,000 word novel is going to be about, after all it is only 14 days to the kick off!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Follow me.........

See that new thingy under the NaNoWriMo button on the left there? You can add yourself to it so I know who is reading my blog. And you can put one on your blog too so you know who is reading yours. It's new in the "customise layout" section of blogger.

I've also added a photo to the "about me " section so you can all see my ugly mug!!

Mystery Sock clue 3 came out today and I've finished it already! It was just the heel flap and heel turn so I managed it in a couple of hours. Which meant I could concentrate on the baby cardigan I am making for little George. I have almost finished it, just one arm to do. It is knitted from the top down so no seaming, hooray. I did have a bit of a mishap with it though. The needle sizes on the pattern were US sizes and when I looked at my needle gauge to work out the metric equivalents I accidentally looked at the imperial sizes. So I used 5.5mm and 4.5mm when I should have used 4.5mm and 3.75mm. Hence the cardi is bigger than expected. At least babies "grow into" things.

The waistcoat is in the "naughty corner" at the mo, I'm not entirely happy with my picking up of stitches around the bottom, but I'll do a bit of fudging at some point and it'll be fine.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bag lady

Another spoiler alert: photo of the completed second Mystery Sock Clue (ravelry link) is at the bottom of this post.

My sock bags arrived this morning from stuckinillinois. They are pretty roomy. I have put two balls of sock yarn and two half-made socks on needles and the folded A4 pattern in one of them and it all goes in quite comfortably. These are the 4 I bought.

The dog & cat one is the one I am using, here is the detail. They are all fully reversible too, the inside of this one

has little paw prints inside

I got two with knitting words on the outside

one of which is orange swirls inside and the other has little skulls, and finally the blue and green spotty one is stripey inside. All very cute.

Just before I went on holiday a month ago, I bought Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. I really like Wendy's blog and had been reading the build up to the release of this book, so when it came out I thought I'd check it out.

Most of the patterns are for top-down garments (yay no seaming!) and each one has a section where you can customise it in ways to suit yourself. There is also a large section on designing a garment from scratch and how to take accurate measurements etc. One little treasure I did find in it was how to do a long-tail provisional cast on which I haven't tried yet but need to know how to do for my next project, so that was a bonus.

Finally, the pic of my Mystery Socks up to Clue 2. This clue took longer than clue 1 but I still made it in plenty of time as Clue 3 is released on Wednesday.

The waistcoat is almost done, but probably won't be finished for knit group tomorrow. It is hard to work on it in the darker evenings and I have been distracted by the socks for the last week or so. It is almost there though. I think this evening i will try that provisional cast-on though and make a start on my Ice Queen or a little cardigan for our friends' new baby, George. I picked up some aran yarn in Ireland that may be suitable for that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh cripes, what have I done?

I've only gone and signed up for National Novel Writing Month officially. I will now have the 30 days of November to write a 50,000 novel or get laughed off the face of the earth!!

Care to join me anyone?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bags of fun

I always have a pair of socks OTN. At the moment I have 2 pairs. As I am now using a ball winder to make centre pull balls, they do not roll around like they used to, but I thought it would be nice to have the yarn, needles, row counter and pattern all in one place.

I had a mooch around on etsy.com and found this seller. Aren't they cute? What is amazing is that they only cost $10 each (about £5.50?). Scrolling down I noticed that it said shipping was free, but I couldn't believe she would send from the USA to the UK for nothing so I emailed her. Sure enough, she said it was free so I ordered more than one, seemed a waste of free shipping to just order one! (Becca - do not order any, I've got you covered!)

Yesterday I wasn't needed in work so I decided to tidy up my knitting stuff because it was basically scattered everywhere. I piled everything onto the spare bed and this is what it looked like.

And you can't see the 4 bags on the floor or the books and magazines! Anyway, I have now succeeded in getting all the yarn into 4 large tubs, all the straight needles in a bag, and all the circs in a binder of clear pockets. The patterns that aren't in books are also in a binder and I went through about 30 magazines and tore out anything I wanted to keep and binned the rest. (I kept all my Interweaves intact though!)

So now I can put my hand to anything I need, but curiously I never found the 2 stitch holders I know I have and which I had to replace at the weekend because I couldn't find them. I think they went down the black hole where things go in my house sometimes. Unfortunately I don't know where it leads so I can't get things back.

Now I can carry on with my Tweedy waistcoat and try to finish it before knitting group next Tuesday as I want to start an Ice Queen and need help with a provisional cast on.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Just a quick recommendation for a website today. Greenmetropolis.com is a site for buying and selling second hand books, all of which are priced at £3.75 each. The postage on an average paperback is free but on heavier books the seller can add a postage cost.

I have bought a couple of books from this site and they are always in good condition.

Shameless plug alert - I have just listed "Stitch'n'Bitch Crochet, the Happy Hooker" on the site. It is in perfect condition as I never used it, just couldn't get my head around crochet! (Edit: book has sold)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Stash enhancement (again!)

(Warning - Spoiler Alert - Do not scroll down this post if you are making the Socktoberfest Mystery Through the Loops socks and don't want to see what the first clue looks like)

Last weekend Andy at Bluefaced.com had an open day. It wasn't very big but Natural Dye Studio and Fyberspates had brought along some of their wares. Laughing Hens were there because they are under new ownership and have just moved here from down south. I only found two skeins of yarn that I fancied......

Natural Dye Studio Alpaca Merino sock yarn in Kumquat

and some wool/alpaca blend yarn that I think is Andy's. It wasn't labelled but it is about an Aran weight and hopefully long enough for a cowl of some kind.

On Friday I popped into Stash to pick up an extra ball of yarn for my waistcoat and Karen from knitting group was in there. She was buying a few bits including a ball of Kidsilk Haze to make an Ice Queen. When she said it only took one ball to make it I was tempted and bought a ball in this colour.

While I was there I bought a 100cm long 2.5mm Addi lace needle so I can have a go at Magic loop. I haven't done it yet but I have transferred one of my Mystery Socks onto it ready for the next clue. So I have one sock on two circs and one on magic loop. I wonder which method I will like best in the end. This is the progress so far, the next clue is released on Wednesday.

Oh, and I now have 10 shiny nails!!