Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sock crisis averted.

Well after a few false starts I am pretty happy with the progress on my Zokni socks now. I have just done the short row heel on the first sock

The colour is much brighter and more yellow than in the photos. Here is a close up of the stitch pattern. Although it is only a 15 stitch and 10 row repeat I can't remember it at all and constantly have to have the chart in front of me!

And here are a couple of pics of The Gorgeous One. Looking angelic of course! He's getting a bath this afternoon, so he won't look so happy after that!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Answer me this!

A quick plug - have a listen to this podcast

Its just a couple of people answering questions sent in by listeners but is quite amusing. There is some bad language and dodgy content so keep the kids away, but check it out.

I had to rip the Zokni socks back to the beginning AGAIN last night, cos i made a mistake on row 8 of the lace pattern. I didn't know how to pick up the rib stitches once they were off the needles so I started again. This time I have discovered the wonders of LIFELINES!!! I'm putting one in after every 10 rows!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sock crisis!!

I have been having a major sock crisis!! I need to have a sock in progress, it's just one of those things. I finish a pair of socks and I have to cast on another pair straight away. Is that an addiction? From my last post you can see I cast on the Zokni socks in the Fauveline Yarn. This is the second time I have attempted these socks, the first time was with garnstudio fabel in the 672 colourway. This was far too busy to show the stitch pattern, so they got ripped out and the yarn became a Dragon Scales scarf. This time the Fauveline yarn was too fiddly and also too busy, so the little I had done (one and a bit repeats) got ripped out and that yarn put back in the stash for a later date. I really want to use this yarn because it is so interesting and very soft when knitted up which is a bit surprising. I have now cast on for a third time using a plain(-ish) light coloured yarn (the bottom one in this pic).

I am only on the rib so no opinions on its success yet but fingers crossed.

I have also whipped up a little project that I saw in the latest issue of Let's Knit magazine. I can't show it yet as it will be a gift. (If you are on ravelry you can see here). It took me an evening and about another hour to complete and I used up the single ball of Wendy Fusion from my stash.

I only have 2 other WIPs, one is the Drops 88-4 cardigan (link on left sidebar) which I really want to finish this month, and the other is a lacy scarf that has been hibernating for about 12 months. I picked it up the other day and it is actually quite pretty, so I may go back to that too.

Well I've gone and let myself in for another round of sock-related bloodshed and signed up for Sock Wars III. It all kicks off on 9th May. This time it is sponsored by South West Trading Company Tofutsies Yarn but I don't think you have to use that yarn. It seems that that would suggest that this time it will be sock yarn weight rather than DK weight as used in the last two rounds. Well we shall wait and see. Go on over and sign up, the more warriors the better, but be warned there is a $2 charge this time too, but what's that? A pound? Nothing really.

There is growing interest in the knitting group at Borders. They have even put it in the events page on the website (click the link and scroll down). I was up there on Sunday afternoon and there was a poster on the notice board just inside the door and one on the end of the knitting books section, so it is well publicised. There has been interest from customers of Stash too, so I wonder how many people will turn up. 'Citin'!! I was listening to the podcast "Lixie Knits It" and she mentioned she was on ravelry so I messaged her to say I liked her podcast. We "chatted" a bit and I mentioned the group and she said she will try to remember to mention it on the next podcast which she is doing at the weekend!

Have a look at this pattern, Cherie Amour from I managed to miss this one and only happened to click on a link from another blog. It is definitely going on my to-do list!

Finally on knitting news, I bought a ringbinder and some clear pockets and sorted out all my printed off knitting patterns. They were all over the place but are now filed by type - socks, scarves, jumpers etc. I had more than I thought in the end, I just kept finding them in my various knitting bags and piles of magazines. Oh there's a thought, I could go through the magazines and tear out the patterns I want to keep and chuck the rest in the recycling, hmm, may do that this evening.

Update on The Gorgeous One - he started getting very defiant and ignoring our attempts to stop him doing things he shouldn't so we rang up Amanda at BarkBusters for advice. She said to not give him any praise or cuddles etc for 48 hours!! It was agony. When he realised what was going on he started becoming extra cute and desperate for attention, bringing us all his toys and rolling around the floor as if to say "look at me, aren't I wonderful?" His behaviour did improve though when he worked out he wasn't getting attention. This morning he got lots of cuddles and seemed none the worse for his experience.

I hate to even think about it, but the big birthday is coming up later in the year. I have decided I would like to take better photos and learn how to do it properly. I like taking "snaps" but I'd like to be able to take arty type photos. I know you need to be a bit artistic to recognise an arty subject in the first place, and I'm not really that way inclined, but surely you can learn that to some extent. Anyway, Colin suggested that he gets me a digital SLR camera for the big birthday, so I'm going to take my time and get advice on what would be a good one to get for "an enthusiastic beginner"! I want to learn about lighting and f-stops and all that technical stuff that the compact point-and-shoot camera that I now have does for me. And then there's all the imaging software stuff these days instead of developing. Could be a huge learning curve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

FOs and more socks!

A couple of FOs this morning..........

The finished Argosy scarf

And my Lorna's Laces toe-ups. The first skein of the LL had longer green sections and the second one had longer purple sections, so I have one sock more greeny and one sock more purpley. I need to knit something in a more uniform colour next to avoid the problem of
handpainted yarn being so random.

So I have cast on some Zokni socks using the strange stranded yarn I got from Fauveline. I'm not sure they are going to be a success and I may get frustrated with all the strands and rip them out but I'll see how I get on.

I've made a start on the rib anyway. The first row was a right old pain but the subsequent ones weren't too bad.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Beach and celebration

As Colin is going over to Manchester for a course this weekend, we decided to take Thursday and Friday off. Today we are just pottering and doing bits and pieces but yesterday we decided to take The Gorgeous One on a little outing. We jumped in the car and headed up to West Kirby on the Wirral and here is where Charlie got his first experience of sand.

Not sure what he makes of it really but he was quite interested in some horse droppings on the beach!

There were lots of other dogs around and he managed to get on with all of them. Here he is saying hello to a couple of larger dogs. He was also quite taken with a rather attractive lady jogger and set off running to heel with her for a few metres until we managed to get his attention back to us.

And here he is trying not to have his lead put back on when it was time to go home.

I am getting through my Argosy scarf but the second skein is a bit different in colour to the first, I guess that's a risk you take with hand-dyed yarns. There is a darker blue in the second skein but i don't think it would be that noticeable when wearing it because there are so many other colours there. It is about 70% done so will be in time to be a present I think.

This morning I received some yarn that i ordered from a German seller on ebay. I had seen this seller mentioned on another blog but now I don't know where it was.

This cost me about a fiver including postage from this seller. It is 50% wool, 20% merino, 20% acrylic and 10% viscose. The colours are darker than on the ebay photo and also a bit redder than this photo. The colourway is called Celebration.

It is quite unusual because it is 5 strands of very fine yarn and it hasn't been plied together so you are effectively knitting with 5 strands held together.

It is a bit like the single strands of the DMC embroidery cottons But the resulting swatch is so amazingly soft. I'm not sure what it will be like trying to knit a whole pair of socks with 5 strands but hey, I'll give it a go sometime.

My Mighty Boosh series 3 DVD arrived yesterday at last. I have also now got Cesar Millan's second book "Be the Pack Leader" which I am trying to read along with the Matthew Reilly, and knitting and keeping an eye on the dog. Huh, multitasking!! Over the weekend i'm going to sort out my printed off knitting patterns into a ring binder cos at the moment they are scattered all over the place.

I have done another 2 reiki treatment over the past week, but you can read about that here. Well, off to do a bit more of the scarf before lunch.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New for nattering knitters.

Exciting news!! I have started a knitting group!! Well, there are two of us doing it actually. I came across someone else on ravelry who lives here in Chester and got chatting through the messaging system on there. She said that she would love it if there was a knitting group that met at Borders at Cheshire Oaks so I said "why not start one". She made some enquiries with the store and they were really keen so yesterday we met up there and spoke to the supervisor, Simon. He showed us where we could gather the group and was very accommodationg.

So the upshot is that the new group will be held at Borders, Cheshire Oaks on the second Tuesday of the month starting on 11th March, from 6.30pm till 8pm-ish. All welcome if you are in the area. One of the ladies who works in the LYS is telling customers about it too so hopefully it will be more than just the two of us on the first night.

On the recommendation of Clarabelle I have started an Argosy Scarf from I'm not sure whether to rattle through this for a present or to finish my socks first. I am just casting off the first toe-up sock. The scarf is so squooshy that I would be loath to part with it. I am using the Fyberspates DK that I got last week.

There is progress on the Gorgeous One front. We had another trainer round yesterday from BarkBusters and rather than trying to teach him "tricks" like sit, stay etc which the other one did, she actually showed us how to stop him doing things he shouldn't. Ah relief. I think he was so pooped afterwards, because he actually lay and fell asleep in his bed during the evening rather than chewing it and dragging it around the room. And today he actually seems to be showing me some respect instead of chewing my trousers and being a pain in the arse. He's so cute.

My mum & step-dad got to see him via the webcam last night. I finally got round to setting it up and after a few teething troubles we managed to get a connection between us via Windows Messenger. Charlie was so funny, my mum was calling him and he couldn't work out where she was!!

I had a surprise on Saturday. The new Matthew Reilly is out and was half price in Waterstone's. I couldn't grab it quick enough, and in the process broke my resolution of not buying any books this year. I think one slip up is allowed and as I said to Colin "its not a book, it's a necessity!". He promptly took it off me and said "Well you have to finish the book you're reading first and I've just finished mine so I'll read it first!". Humph! He gave it back this morning saying it was all too ridiculous (that's the point of MR) and that I could have it after all. I shall start it later today.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Birthday girl!


Now my mum has opened her present I can show you what I made her. It is Urchin from, and here are The Gorgeous One and I modelling it before it went off in the post.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Different levels of energy

Here is The Gorgeous One showing "calm submissive" energy in front of The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan. Hmm, if only he would do that when we ask him to!!

Yesterday I met Viv to pass on a bookcrossing book, and afterwards I popped into Stash because I had a £25 voucher that Colin gave me for Christmas burning a hole in my pocket. I had no project in mind, I just wanted to spend it!! This is what I came out with after adding another £4 in cash.

The first one is Araucania Ranco Multi in a pinky, yellowy, purpley colourway.

Then some Fyberspates 100% merino DK in bright pinks, yellows, greens and purples which makes you go "Oooo!!" when you touch it, and that's what sold it to me (aswell as Ann in the shop putting it in my hand in the first place! Naughty girl.)

And finally some Fyberspates 50% merino, 50% tencel sock yarn in muted pinks, blues and purples. There is a bit of a colour theme going on here methinks.

My energy was definitely "excitable" when I bought these. Like I said, I have no projects in mind for these yarns, most likely socks for the two sock yarns, but absolutely no idea for the DK. There is 220 metres in total so any suggestions are welcome.

Don't forget to watch Ashes to Ashes tonight, BBC1 9pm.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Holey gusset

I have just treated my first Reiki client and it seemed to go ok. You can read about it here.

The dog trainer came round on Monday evening and of course The Gorgeous One performed almost perfectly for her. We did some "clicker" training with him, and he did what he was asked when he was getting a treat for it. But I think he is pretty smart and knows when he isn't going to get a treat. So he was naughty again yesterday!!

I started a pair of toe-up socks using a mixture of this pattern and this pattern but was getting holes when I did the gusset increases so I frogged back and did them again using this method and they are really good. No holes. I am using my Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in Jungle Stripe (purple & green), yummy colours.

I'm off for a coffee with a fellow bookcrosser this afternoon. I haven't seen her for about a year I think so that will be good.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Monkeys finished

Here are my little Monkeys all finished. The colour pooling is slightly different on each one but i think they are a lovely colour overall. They feel really soft too, so I think I would use the Regia Bamboo again.