Thursday, December 31, 2009

Central Park Hoodie

This is my latest project. Father Christmas kindly supplied the Cascade 220 in duck egg blue from Pavi Yarns , and Interweave Press supplied the pattern - the now almost infamous Central Park Hoodie! After checking out the thousands of these on ravelry and reading the message boards about the sizing, I have gone for a larger size than I normally would as everyone was saying that this knits up small. They are right. I'm doing a 40", to get a 36" and I'm not sure it is even going to be that big. Very stretchy though so it will be fine - she says with fingers crossed! This is my first experience with Cascade 220 and I'm already considering getting more. I'll wear the hoodie for a while though to see what the pilling is like.

I am almost half way up the back.

The cables are very simple but effective, and I'm doing them without a cable needle - that's 3 stitches in mid air at a time to keep track of!!

The colour is lovely but I think I ought to keep it away from Becca when it is finished!!

Happy New Year to everyone for tomorrow. I am considering a blog revamp for the new year and may even go over to wordpress. I'll keep you informed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well Father Christmas brought me a new laptop, a MacBook no less. I have been playing a bit (have only used a PC before) and managed to load a few photos of my cooking efforts on Christmas Eve. When I was still living at home I used to spend most of Christmas Eve up to my elbows in flour and sausage-meat making sausage rolls and mince pies. One year I somehow got the amount of fat wrong in the rough puff and it all poured out and over the edge of the baking tray to the bottom of the oven. We didn't realise until the next day when my mum tried to light the gas oven to put the turkey on and there was a thick layer of lard coating the floor of the oven and blocking up the jets at the back!! It took a while to scrape it all out!

I work on a smaller scale these days and here are this year's efforts, before and after cooking.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Penguin at No. 17

Well, that's all the neighbourhood animals cozy and warm this Christmas. I can relax now knowing I've done my bit, hahahaha!!!

Rubber Duckies

Getting excited now, only 1 sleep to go!!! I'm such a big kid.

Well, I can show something I made now that they have been given to and opened by their recipients. Becca, Karen and I went to Stash yesterday lunchtime, to give Anne a send off on her last day working there. She is off on exotic travels. (Becca and I were slightly late as I got lost in the business park and went to the wrong building to pick her up!!) Here they all are...... top l-r Clare, Becca and Helen (shop owner), bottom l-r Karen and Anne.

I had knitted Karen, Becca and Anne a Rubber Ducky washcloth from Eskimimi's excellent pattern. I only had enough time and yarn to do the larger duck and I did all three at the same time on one long circular needle. It was fine as long as you turned the work in alternate directions between rows so the 3 different yarns didn't all twist round each other.

Then I made some stitch markers in coordinating colours, which I threaded onto matching ribbon and wrapped the cloths around some "smellies" and tied them with the ribbon. I think they went down well. I love it that other knitters appreciate that it may only be a washcloth but effort has been put into making it.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I actually finished this shrug a couple of weeks ago but didn't get it seamed in time for the knit group Christmas meal. As I have a big new project lined up for after Christmas (Santa will hopefully be popping the yarn down the chimney on Friday) I got on and finished the seaming this weekend and got daylight photos.

Pattern: Silk Shrug from Classic by Erika Knight
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK
Needles: 3.25 and 3.75mm
Mods: made longer sleeves by casting on 66 sts, increasing every 10 rows to 80 sts and following pattern from there.

I think it needs something to hold it together otherwise it pings open. I am happy with the sleeves but would be happier if they were slightly narrower, but I did wing it with those!

For anyone concerned about the welfare of the penguin at no. 17, he'll be getting a little something in a couple of days!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nanotechnology to end insulin injections

I wonder when this will happen. 5 to 10 years??? Looks amazing though, how do they make such tiny things?

I think they noticed!


Eclipse (Twilight, #3) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmmm, this was ok. There wasn't actually a lot of action in it, the whole thing was building up to a fight that lasted a couple of pages. It was more to do with the "does she love Edward? Does she love Jacob?" angst going on. It could have been a lot shorter.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hedging my bets

So I was quite keen on the idea of a bit of "guerilla knitting". But I thought I'd start small. Our next door neighbours have a hedgehog outside their front door and as the weather got colder he started to look a bit chilly. So I knitted him a very simple 12 stitch 2x2 rib scarf using some left over sock yarn.

This morning on my way out, I popped their Christmas card through the door, put the scarf on the hedgehog, took a quick photo and ran to the car and away.

Doesn't he look much warmer now? I'm not going to mention it and see how long it takes them to notice. They know I knit so will probably guess who did it, but when?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am still here, but I have been making stuff I either can't show because it's a Christmas surprise, or that I haven't finished seaming yet!

Back soon!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I spent all day sewing this up yesterday, and was so excited at how well it fits that I put it on this morning and went down to show the girls at the LYS. Anne was kind enough to take the photos for me.

Pattern: Shona by Tina Barrett from Yarn Forward Magazine Issue 18
Yarn: Louisa Harding Hulda, colour 15, 9.3 x 50g balls
Needles: 6mm
Mods: I accidentally started the size 30 to the end of the decreases, then carried on with the size 32 from there! But I think it has made it a better fit. Also knitted the back and front together in the round.

Look at all the lovely yarn in the background, drool!! (Yes of course I bought something!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


There's so much satisfaction in finishing a project, especially if you have procrastinated for about 6 weeks over the seaming!!! Today I could have carried on knitting a pair of socks I started yesterday but no, I took advantage of the bright daylight and my dining room table to sew up my Shona jumper which I have renamed Cuddly-Wuddly. I don't have photos yet because it took me all day to seam and after three attempts to sew on the collar I finally googled "slip stitich seam" and found out it involves a crochet hook. My previous attempts were all mattress stitch of which I mistakenly thought "it'll be fine". It wasn't.

The jumper was from Yarn Forward magazine issue 18, and despite my sabotage attempt, by starting to knit one size and then accidentally switching to the next size up, it is a blooming good fit.

Last night may have been the last time the knitting group meets at its usual venue. Sadly Borders UK has gone into administration and all 45 stores are under threat. So it is time for us to start looking for another venue in the Chester/Ellesmere Port area that stays open until at least 9pm. We have considered a pub but they don't tend to have bright lighting, essential for knitting especially if you have a disaster and have to rip back or tink back. So the hunt is on.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Big Reveal

I am now allowed to reveal the secret test knitting project I was working on a couple of weeks ago.

The pattern is by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops and the pattern is now available to buy on Ravelry for $6.
The yarn I used is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, but there is also a fingering weight version included in the pattern. At the time of test knitting there was only a sport weight version. I love the lacy pattern but the mitts did come out a little roomy, not really a keeping-your-hands-warm-in-icy-weather mitt, although the fingering weight version will probably be more snug.

Thank you to my friend Kate for being such an excellent hand model!!!

Raspberry Ripple

About two years ago I knitted my step-sister and niece a pair of socks each. When we were visiting a couple of weeks ago, the smaller pair of these appeared out of a drawer, looking none the worse for wear. But they are now a little small. So I said I would make another pair in the latest "favourite colour" of red. I had some red and white yarn in my stash from about a year ago that I hadn't got round to knitting yet, so over the weekend I produced these.

I used The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns to get the size, so cast on 52 stitches and did plain stocking stitch after about 3cm if K2,P2 rib. And I managed to get the stripes to just about match!
Pattern: Basic sock pattern by Ann Budd
Yarn: Bear Necessities 100% 4ply wool from, colour Raspberry Ripple
Needles: 2.5mm circs, magic loop

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Marram hat

Would you believe me if I said it was TOO sunny today? I wanted to take photos of the hat I finished but there was too much sun to get the colours right or show the pattern.

The first pic is in sun but the second one is better as it is taken in a bit of shade while we were out for a walk. You can see the striping on that one. I think I probably should have used two more contrasting colours for a better effect.

Pattern : Marram by Eskimimiknits
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed in colours 150 and 154, 19g of main colour, 17g of contrast colour.
Needles: 3.5mm circs
Mods: none

It's a good fit on me or Colin and is lovely and warm. I am very impressed with Mimi as she has only been knitting for a year and is already designing!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


.......this morning I have just finished the test knitting I have been doing. I don't think I'm allowed to show what it is yet but here's a sneaky peak!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Celebrity week at little-acorns!

Last night we went to see Beverley Knight in concert. I'll admit I went to make up the numbers so to speak, I only know one song of hers, but Colin has somehow been "chatting" to her on Twitter and when she announced she would be in Liverpool on her tour he got a couple of tickets.

So after finally finding somewhere to park near the Royal Philarmonic off we went and sat in our box seats! How posh!

The support band were Mama's Gun and they were pretty good. Very tight.

After that Beverley Knight came on. After about 5 songs she said "This next song is dedicated to someone I never met, but ....(something I didn't quite hear but was something like "through the power of Twitter" )........ I know her brother. His name is Colin and he is doing amazing things through 365challenge to raise money for cancer research." Everybody shouted and clapped at this point. I just looked at Colin, and he was as stunned as I was!! "I don't know where you are Colin but this song is for Brenda." I was saying to him "stand up and wave!" but she wasn't looking in the right direction so he didn't. I said "you have to try and see her at the end, I'm sure she'll want to say hello after that" so at the end we went down to the edge of the stage and explained who he was. We eventually got ushered outside to the stage door with the other people waiting to get things signed and eventually at 12.15am she came out! We let the other people get their stuff signed and then Colin told her who he was and we got a picture. Unfortunately I only had my iPhone with me and no flash so its a bit dodgy but here she is with Colin.

Then her manager whisked her away and she shouted "I'll tweet you later".

The song she sang for Brenda was Gold. You can watch it here on YouTube.

What a pair we are with our celebrity friends!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Strictly M6 Services!

So there we were sitting having lunch in the services on the M6 toll road today, and Colin had just casually asked if I'd seen anyone famous yet and I'd said no. (We often spot someone well known, it was Ross Noble when we were in London a few weeks ago).

And then I looked up and said "Vincent Simone is right behind you!!" He'd walked across to speak to someone so I pulled my camera out of my bag to "kinnear" him, but he headed for the door again. I dithered a bit and then thought "Why am I letting him walk away?" so I jumped up and ran after him, was almost thwarted by the automatic doors and dashed outside just in time to see him disappear up the steps of the Strictly Come Dancing coach parked out the back. The driver was standing outside so I asked if he would ask Vincent if he would mind having a photo so he went in and then Vincent came back out and gave me a big hug and kiss and the driver took a photo of us!!!

I was so excited I didn't think of the fact that all the rest of Strictly were probably all on the coach too!! But Vincent has always been "my favourite" so I was well chuffed with that.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

Well I am quite excited. I was chosen as one of six test knitters for a quite well known knit blogger/designer for their latest pattern.

These are my tools for the job, but that's all I'm going to say for now!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Felted Tweed Gloves

I now have a lovely pair of winter gloves. Amazingly they only took 37g of Rowan Felted Tweed, less than one ball. And I got the yarn when the old John Lewis was closing in Liverpool for £1.25 a ball, meaning these gloves cost about a pound!! Bargain of the year or what?

Coincidentally Knitting Daily have been plugging the book The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns this past week which this pattern is from. It's the first time I have used this book and it was really useful because I chose my yarn and gauge and then looked at the chart and found the number of stitches to cast on and away I went. As the meerkat would say - Simples!

Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern from the above book
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
Needles: 3.25mm

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have not seen the TV show based on this book so didn't really have any idea about Dexter before I read it. I'm not giving anything away by saying that he is a serial killer, who only goes after bad guys - or does he?

A number of prostitutes are being brutally murdered in Miami, and as Dexter actually works for the police as a forensic blood splatter specialist he is in an ideal position to get involved. However his urge to kill his next victim is strong and when he starts having strange dreams about the murders as they are happening, he starts to wonder if he is actually committing the murders himself.

In the process of the book we get into the mind of Dexter and at the end of the book discover why he is the way he is.

An interesting slant on the serial killer genre, but there were some huge leaps forward in the plot which weren't that believable. I won't rush out to buy the sequel but might watch an episode on TV if I catch one.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, November 02, 2009

Eddie Izzard.......... the Liverpool Echo Arena last night.

I'm quite pleased with my new Nikon Coolpix's efforts considering this is how far away we really were!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Best foot forward

To celebrate Soctoberfest 09, I have been participating in the Mystery Sock KAL on Through the Loops' blog. The idea is that you don't know what you are knitting (well you know its a sock) until you knit it. One clue is released once a week in October, and you knit that clue and wait for the next one. The final clue was released yesterday and here are my finished socks.

I made a bit of a boob by using such a variegated yarn so the pattern is a bit swamped but I'm not sure I would have used it for anything else so at least its out of the stash now.
Pattern: Through the Loops Mystery Sock 09
Yarn: Wild Fire Fibres Fantasia - colourway Lammas
Needles: 2.5mm circulars using magic loop from each end of the ball at the same time!
Mods: only the length of the foot to fit.

I also made the black & white kitty in a few hours last weekend, but didn't get round to the face for about a week. I'm still not entirely happy with it! I tried green and blue eyes but ended up back with black again.

Also last weekend Colin took part in a 10K run for Cancer Research UK. It was along the seafront in Rhyl and there was a hell of a wind blowing!

Susie decided to help him do some stretching before we left

and we met up with some others who were running it. On the left is Frederika who always looks stunning even when she has run 10K. This is before they set off

just after the first bend

and Colin crossing the finish line. This is the only picture I got of him finishing because although I got in a great place to see him come towards me, another runner was in front and blocking him from my view all the way! They only moved out of the way at the very last minute, I was a bit annoyed!

and this is the four of them at the end.

Colin's personal fundraising pot is now over £8,000 and collectively the 365challenge participants have raised over £24,000. Anyone fancy having a go? Check Colin's site for details.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And in the purple corner........

I'll freely admit I have a thing for purple, but I'm starting to think its getting a bit over the top!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing what you spot on TV

On a Friday evening I am just about able to stay awake until the end of Friday Night with Jonathon Ross. After this Colin usually stays up to watch Later with Jools Holland but puts it on Sky+ anyway in case he can't stay awake to the end! When I got up on Staurday morning, he was watching the recorded episode and said, "Come and look at this interesting piece of knitwear on Jools Holland last night".

Wondering what on earth I was going to see - Jools can have some quite obscure artists on his shows sometimes - I watched as he interviewed Smokey Robinson. Nothing interesting to see there, but then........the camera panned to the audience and who did I see but a rather rough looking Noel Fielding! Ignore the sourpuss look on his face, ignore the mountain of beer on the table, look at his BOHUS!!!!

I may now have to re-consider stranded knitting!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Big Blue Test

I have just found out that it is World Diabetes Day on November 14th, and there is going to be a global event called the Big Blue Test, which will involve testing your blood sugar level at 14.00, then exercising for 14 minutes and then testing again. All the details are here:-

The Big Blue Test on World Diabetes Day

So if, like me, you have diabetes, why not join in?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And today's new yarn is...........

........this month's Wild Fire Fibres sock club yarn, Venezia in colourway Samhain.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kitty number 3

Robitussin's cousin (kitty number 2) was delivered this morning and is currently being taken on a walk along the Sandstone Trail. Mel was very enamoured with him.

Now I have had a request for another one, this time in black and white, so I made a swift purchase this morning.

So I now have two more kitties to make, and then hopefully that will be it. At least they are very quick to make, a few hours at the most. And I love the look on the recipients' faces when they get them, its worth all the effort.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Robitussin's cousin!

I finished this little fella last night but just had to do the face this morning. He is for some friends of ours who are having their first wedding anniversary on Sunday. Mel asked me to make her a kitty when she saw my previous one, but has probably forgotten all about it so I thought I'd surprise her. Their real life cat is called Robitussin, hence the name of this one. Perhaps they will call it Benylin!

Pattern: Knitted kitty by Lilian
Yarn: Louisa Harding Nautical cotton
Needles: 3mm
Mods: two colours, changed every two rows.