Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back Again

On the left above my DH June 1952 to August 2009. Sorely missed, there is a hole in my heart that will never heal. The suddenness of his death was such a huge shock to all, we are still trying to make some sense of it.
I tried moving this photo but blogger is not cooperating today so I'll let it stay where it is.

I've been gone a long time, I just haven't been able to write anything without getting emotional. However I decided it was time to get back in the saddle as they say. I have been getting on with my life and I have good days and bad days. I have been sorting and clearing, bags of stuff to charity and boxes of books to charity book shops too. Most of the stuff so far has been my own, I haven't as yet boxed up DH's clothes, in some ways it is comforting to still have them around.

I now have a brand new car, picked it up from the dealers last Friday, and both of the other cars are now gone. It was a difficult process, letting his car go, like finally saying he was gone.

I'm looking at houses and have seen one that I am tempted to put an offer on, but it feels like a very big step.

Knitting has been continuing all the time and I will have a lot to update you all about on that front in the not too distant future but for now I have no photos to share. I have finished 2 sweaters recently - well all but the sewing up. Have finished a pair of socks, unfortunately I am going to have to frog the first of them totally as it is a disaster. I also have a single sock done using one of the zuberballs (probably spelt that all wrong). Have also started another sweater that has been on my project list - this one is in Noro Silk Garden. No photos of any of these so I will try to take a day, probably after Christmas, and do a lot of snapping then try to feed them in here over a period of time.

I have been teaching my cleaner to knit socks and she loves it. Taken to it like the proverbial duck to water. She is now accumulating her own stash of sock yarn, she is addicted. We try to share a bit of knitting and a coffee at the end of her work. I'm also teaching her lots of other techniques, she has no one else to teach her, so last week I taught her how to cable and yesterday she used my swift and ball winder to wind 3 skeins I gave her for a shawl.
My entries here will probably be intermittent yet for a while as I am busy trying to get things sorted still. SIL and her husband are coming over for 5 days from 28th so I am trying really hard to achieve a number of things before they arrive. Of course the days being so short seems to make the amount of work achieved each day very little.

Signing off for now. Keep safe, take joy in your loved ones, never forget how fragile life can be.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nothing Can Express

My sense of loss...............

On 20th August my life changed forever. My Dear Husband of 30 years suffered a massive and totally unexpected heart attack and was just gone. I've been keeping going, getting through things, and there are are lot of things to get through... settling all the finances and then will come sorting the house.

I may not be blogging for a while but I am following all of you out there, reading your blogs and keeping up to date. I'm still knitting as I need that to keep me going. I have good friends and family 'keeping an eye' on me as it were but nothing can replace the constant companionship and love we had. I will always miss him.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Malabrigo - soft, softer, softest

I love Malabrigo yarn. It must be one of the softest yarns I have ever snuggled up to. I have this sweater in my basket of 'resting' WIPs, it's been resting for about 2 years and I had an urge to go back to it as a rest from the shawl. The back was finished and the front was well underway. So I've been working on it again this past week or so and have finished the front. It is of course in Malabrigo, colour Loro Barenquero. You can see the change in the colour striation when the back narrows in at the armholes.

The front has a large central cable, not too easy to see due to the colour. The cable then splits up the neck edges. So where the central cable was 16 stitches, each of the neckline cables is 8 stitches.

The finished neckline is actually a wrapover which is knit as a separate rectangle and then sewn in. It is a Lana Grossa pattern which I have had to size up, their patterns are typically only sized for anorexic runway models.

I own a bought sweater with this same neckline, which I love, so when I came across this pattern I had to knit it for myself. Of course it hadto be done in something so cozy and soft, what better than Malabrigo.

Now for a quick update on other things. First my car passed it's MOT, clear for another year. Just over a week ago we had a thunderstorm in the area and we had a lightening strike which blew out our phone master socket and all the equipment connected into it, which included 2 brand new DECT phones and the modem in our SKY+ box. (Actually it affected more than us and the engineers have been out replacing lines which were melted) We're still watching TV OK but without the modem the box can't dial back so they won't see the box plugged in. Eventually we will get a letter from sky complaining that our 2 boxes are not connected to the same phone line (we have sky multi-room with a really old box in our family room). Maybe it is time to go to SKY HD, probably cheaper to buy a new HD box than cough up for an engineer to fix the existing box. More expense, new phones and new Sky box.

SIL and her husband are visiting for 10 days. Luckily they are staying with MIL as DH has come down with something, came home on Friday evening feeling unwell and has been running a temp all weekend. So no outings with the visitors until he gets better.

So to finish on a brighter note here is a flash of some stash acquired last month.

This is Posh Yarn Diana 2ply (lace) in colour Grotto, it is part of a shawl kit. I also got another skein of Diana in a different colour but I'll save that for another day.

Considering all the expenditure recently, with more to come I'm going to have to go on a strict yarn diet for the foreseeable future. Just lucky I have a large yarn stash to shop from then isn't it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bits and Pieces

As usual there is knitting progress here but a lot slower than it has been for a while. I fairly zipped through the last couple of big projects (even though the sewing up isn't done yet) and now Lepidoptera is only going at snails pace.

Here's the latest progress shot.

I took this just before I started to introduce the 3rd colour and have now completed the 12 row transition into that 3rd colour. There is now a gentle hint of lilac starting to appear in the orange, but I haven't taken a photo of that yet. The rows are getting longer and longer so it takes longer and longer to work each of the rows. I find I can't do much at a time as my hands are tiring and cramping a bit working with fine circulars. I will have to rest them to get the kinks out. Perhaps I'll resurrect a WIP on straights to see if the needle change will help.

I met up with Gilraen last week and we had a long lunch talking about knitting, books, films,... She suggested I might like to go along to one of the weekend SNB meetings with her, so I might just do that. While I was having lunch with gilraen my car was in for a service and MOT check, turns out it needed a good bit of work. It is now 8 years old and it is not unexpected that things are wearing out and needing replaced. It doesn't half cost money though AND my big freezer decided to bite the dust at the same time and we had to get a new freezer PDQ. That was a very costly few days.

DH and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Saturday night, I enjoyed it very much. SIL and her DH will be visiting MIL from 7th to 17th August so we will have to plan a few excursions while they are here. The Tall Ships will be in Belfast from 13th to 16th so we are going to organise one outing to inculde that.

To conclude here is some stash enhancement from June. Some Posh Yarn, 3 skeins of Martha (80% merino 10% cashmere 10% nylon) 4 ply (fingering) in colour Wheat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unfinished Symphony

Photos, I have 'em. I waited until the CLP is mostly pulled together....i.e it is off the needles but not sewn up yet. I'm just one of theose people who doesn't get to the sewing up without a lot of pressure. So the number of WIPs which are at the waiting stage is growing. There will have to be a reckoning one of these days and I will tackle my basket of mostly finished projects (MFPs) and then they will grow into fully fledged Finished Objects. Not yet however. In the meantime here is the penultimate photo of the CLP, the next time you see her she will be all sewn up.....

Just don't hold your breath waiting for the next one. OK so the photo is up to my usual crappy standard, the weather has been so wet and dark and the light so poor it doesn't help my appalling lack of skill. I've changed the neckline, as you may or may not be able to tell from the photo. I decided that as it is going to be a warm sweater I'd make the neck a bit more snuggly. So I did some decreasing and finished out the neck in SS. Then I cast off using 4.5mm needles to enable a nice rollover.

On to the next subject. I wound a couple of skeins of the Sashimi last night and made a start on the Lepidoptera shawl. It doesn't look like much at the moment but it will grow.

This is the first time I've done a triangular shawl but it's only a matter of shape. The knitting is all the same no matter the shape. I'm looking forward to seeing how the gradience dyed yarn makes the shawl change as the colours start to bloom. I need to work 8" of colour 1 before starting to blend on colour 2, and it is a blending process as you have to merge the 2 colours over 8 rows.

I'll give you a peek of one of the 3 little parcels I got last month.

This is my parcel from the Unique Sheep for the Rubber Ducky Club, June shipment. I haven't chosen a pattern for it yet. I think DH will like this as he is a "blue" person so I'll have to pick a pattern he'll like. Shouldn't be too difficult, nothing frilly.

I succumbed to one of the Tilda shawl kits from Posh Yarn a few weeks ago, I'll have to take a photo of that for another post some time.

I'm going to meet up with Gilrean next week, we have not met before but discovered we live relatively close. She goes to some of the knitting get togethers around the country but I have never attended any of these. It will be nice to meet up with someone from the knitting community, I'm usually to be found knitting on my own.

Enough for now, I'll keep you updated on Lepidoptera as she grows. For now I'll have to get back to some decluttering as SIL and her husband are visiting for 10 days next month. I'm going to have to dig the dining room out for underneath a clutter of computer bits, saucepans and yarn...... Here is where it would be nice to be able to conjure up "storage space". Think there's any chance I could wiggle my nose and it would happen? Oh well wishful thinking.

Friday, July 10, 2009

And then there was the White Rabbit.....

Not literally, it just seems like I have followed the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole.

Time has been marching on apace, at such a pace that I coudn't even catch it if I was the world record holder for the 100m sprint.

I have knitting to report but no photos - yet. I'm going to make time over the weekend and get some photos taken to update my projects. My CLP now consists of a finished body and 2 finished sleeves all strung together on the circular needles ready to join for the neck. I need to sew in the sleeves first, but it is nearing completion, photos soon.

I shall be winding my skeins of sashimi in preparation for the lepidoptera shawl. I'm looking forward to seeing how the gradience dyed yarn knits up. As it is triangular I'm expecting to see huge progress to begin with and then it'll get slower and slower as it grows. I'd love to be starting my Sunday cardigan too but I do need a rest from knitting garments, so I think some smaller things for a while. My hands need a rest, they are cramping a bit so I think I'd better have a break before I do damage.

This weekend is a big holiday weekend in Northern Ireland, referred to locally as "The 12th". The 12th July is given over to marches with bands and gatherings of the Loyal Orange Order who celebrate the victory of King William of Orange over King James II at the River Boyne. DH gets 2 days off work so we have a long weekend. The weather forecast is not very promising for the next few days however. As the 12th is a Sunday this year the parades will be taking place on Monday, there will be no marches on Sunday. Whichever day we will be staying at home, enjoying the peace and quiet of the country, well away from the parades.

I was reminded last week about some skirts I'd promised to look out for my BF, so I got them out..... Then I fought my way into a wardrobe that has been blocked in for a while and could not believe what was in it. Well half the contents have now been divided out between a couple of friends, who got a couple of things out of the clear out, and the rest has gone to charity shops. The other half will be tackled at some future stage and I'm sure most if it will end up in charirty shops too, perhaps I'll find room for all the overspill in my bedroom after all.

The two birthday outings last weekend were a great success but it took me days to get over the indigestion and I felt totally exhausted for several days. I feel like I'm getting my energy back so I'll have to turn my attention to some more sorting out again.

We took MIL for a Tepanyaki lunch and she thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that she spent the afternoon writing a letter to her daughter giving her a full account of the whole thing. We all enjoyed it, perhaps we'll do it again when SIL and husband are over for a visit next month.

Our Saturday evening surprise birthday party went very well. Shirley was totally surprised at the gathering who were waiting for her at the restaraunt. She thought her husband was taking her out for a quiet meal. There was 10 of us and a good evening was had by all. The food was superb and the staff were very good. Her husband had got a cake made with a photo of Shirley as a little girl on it. I think she will be making him pay for that.

I have some photos of the birthdays and of some new parcels I got, of course they are still in the camera. I'll get them all downloaded soon, I have to send Shirley some from her birthday.

Time to go now and catch the last episode of "Torchwood: Children of Earth". I'm looking forward to a new series starting on FX next week ------"TrueBlood", based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlene Harris, I've read them all so far.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nothing to see here

No, nothing at all. Move along now, move right along. That is still no photos. That doesn't mean no progress.

The first sleeve is almost finished, just some final raglan decreases then it goes on the holders along with the front and back stitches. The sleeve looks remarkably like the front and back, just narrower anyway, so just look at the other photos and use your imagination.

I thought I'd get in a quick post though as I will be extremely busy over the next few days and I didn't want any of you out there to think I'd fallen off the planet (haha). I will hopefully get some knitting in but I don't see any photos happening. I'm out tomorrow then I need to spend most of Thursday get me sorted for Birthday Friday and Saturday(now that is a big job). Come Sunday I'll be glad to rest up and very probably not eat.

So nothing more here until next week. I promise I will have some photos then.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

CLP resumes

No photos folks, I haven't taken the camera out to catch up on progress yet. I got my needles on Wednesday but didn't get the sleeve cast on until Thursday as I was out on Wednesday. Progress has been good though, I'm about the elbow I suppose. I have made the sleeve longer by adding another pattern on the lace as I did with the body, this means it will be in proportion too. I'm rattling along apace at the moment as sleeves (at this point) are a lot smaller than the body. I'll get some photos next week but progress will HAVE to slow due to 2 big birthdays at the end of next week (and some much needed tidying and cleaning).

So this is short and sweet, just to let you know I'm progressing.

BTW I'm so looking forward to starting Lepidoptera, but .... I'm finishing CLP first.

OH and before I forget, does anybody know where I might look for a reasonably priced copy of Cat Bordhis "A Treasury of Magical Knitting" in the UK.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

There will be a short delay

......while I await delivery of a set of 3.75mm DPNs.

Just when you think there can't be anything missing from your substantial stock of needles, you find a gap. I've got everything up to and including 3.5mm, then 4mm and up (well most of those). So after finishing the body of the CLP after midnight last night I decided to search out the DPNs for the sleeves before going to bed. Only I couldn't find any 3.75mm. Now I do have 3.75 circs as that was what I was using on the body, but don't have a cord short enough and I'm not sure I would enjoy fighting with a cord short enough if there was one (there probably is). I could do the sleeves flat but then I'd have to seam the sleeves and that's the whole reason I did the body in the round. I always think sleeve seams never look as tidy due to the increases anyway. So I've ordered the 3.75mm DPNs and I'll just have to wait for them. In the meantime here's the latest

Pretty isn't it. The stitch pattern will open up better once blocked I think, there's lots of stretch to it. It is beautifully soft and cosy and such a lovely colour.

I really don't want to start another project until the knitting on this is finished so I think the house will at least get a clean and the laundry will get caught up on for a day or 2. I also have the soap sack I started a few weeks ago so that will keep me going for a day or two plus all those projects needing finished off. Now I do have a plan for finishing them off just not quite yet. I had a thought of doing a burst of finishing just before the cooler weather of autumn so that I had several new things to wear. That would make it feel like a whole new wardrobe and perhaps I would get back to some smaller things and perhaps even some Christmas knitting for this year. I haven't decided on the Christmas knitting yet but I'm thinking about it. I only have 2 nieces, a SIL, BIL and DH who would be potential recipients, so not a big list and achievable if I decide to do it.

I got 3 new deliverys in the last few days - a Posh Yarn parcel from last weeks sale, 3 skeins of a lovely wheat colour, then June LOTR sock club and June Rubber Ducky club. I haven't any photos of those to show. Have to keep something up my sleeve for when I have no progress shots. So that's why I'm back so soon for an update - no CLP knitting today. My hands are itching, I'll have to pull out that soap sack later, or .... one of the hibernating projects shamefully resting in the WIP pile. Who knows what lengths I might go to later.

See you all soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Magnificent Obsession

Well I don't know if magnificent is the right adjective here but there has definitely been a big obsession going on here. I can't seem to put the CLP down, it has a grip on me, so much so that I have been knitting the CLP to the exclusion of everything else. Now I don't mean that in just knitting terms, I mean to the absolute exclusion of everything else, cleaning, cooking, laundry,... you get the picture. I've taken photos several times over the past few days for the express purpose of posting on progress and then can't put the CLP down long enough to get the laptop set up and logged on. So today I have forced myself to put the CLP down for a few hours to get caught up online. Yesterday's progress to date on the CLP.

This was a few rounds off the armhole. I haven't taken a photo today but I am now approx 16 rows from finishing the raglan on the back. I'll have that done in the next couple of hours and hopefully by the time I go to bed I'll be well up the front raglan decreases. I can't believe how fast this is going, of course that's proabably to do with the obsessive knitting. Perhaps I'll get a sleeve started and come to a halt, who knows. Mind you it's not as if I'll be wearing this before September/October as it is alpaca and will be a cosy sweater. I'm finding it difficult to get the colour right in the photos. It is a lovely strong honey yellow - yes Katherine a good "redhead" colour. I absoloutely love yellow, strong warm yellow.

Speaking of yellow I won a prize in a competition over at RockpoolCandy. The prize was a skein of yarn dyed especially for me in my fave colour. Here it is

Pepper on guard duty (or sleeping on it), actually she is doing her best to ignore me setting the photo up and flashing at her. The photo doesn't do it justice, it is multihued.

She named it Anne's Egg Fest as she based it mostly on egg yolk yellow. The yarn is a mix of Merino, banana, texel, wenslydale, silk and corriedale. I have no idea what it will become YET, in the meantime it will rest for a while and wait for inspiration. When the time comes I will keep you posted on its development.

Now I promised a photo of a recent delivery from The Unique Sheep so here goes

The shawl is called Lepidoptera and I'm doing it in one of the Unique Sheeps Gradience colourways - Daybreak. The colour starts with number one on the far right and number 6 is the far left. The pattern has instructions how to work the gradience colours. I think this will be my next major project after the CLP and once I get through the birthdays coming up in July.

I'm organising a night out for a friend's 50th birthday. Her birthday is July 2nd but their wedding anniversay in July 4th so a group of us are going out for a meal on Sat 4th July. She doesn't know about it, I'm coordianting with her husband. Then we have MIL 88th birthday on July 3rd, so DH and I are taking her to lunch on Friday 3rd. We won't need to eat for a week at least after those few days.

Now back to work on my CLP. I'll be back soon with more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Decisions Decisions

Well as my previous post said I ordered 4 sets of buttons in my quest to find the perfect ones for my FLS. Here they are all together, the following photos show each set on the FLS

The next photo shows the set on top left, they look OK yes? They would do but just not the perfect button.
Second set, these are the ones on bottom right. They are a better choice than the first set but again not the perfect set.

Set number 3 - from top right. Now these are great and if I wanted the buttons to be unobtrousive these would be perfect.

In fact it was difficult to choose between these and the last set but here you are the ones I chose, bottom left. Now I know some of you out there will disagree but then it is my choice and I happen to think these are perfect.

And the long shot. They have come up more orange than they actually are, more amber coloured. Anyway I think these are the best.

Which ones would you have chosen?

Still no photos of me modelling the cardi. I'll have to get around to asking DH to do the honours. Some day you will get a surprise photo of me modelling the FLS, but I won't say when.

I've been working away on the CLP (Chinese Lace Pullover) and have finished the lace section and now into the body increase shaping. I wanted to make the sweater longer as I don't like short sweaters. When I read through the pattern I decided the best way to do that was to increase the lace panel on the bottom as the waist decreases are achieved within the lace. The lace pattern is 24 rows and the sweater called for 34 rows (1 full pattern + repeat the first 10 rows) I worked 2 full pattern repeats then first 10 rows again. This added just under 3 inches to the length.

I am further on than this photo shows, I took this a few days ago but I haven't a more up to date photo. Here's a close up of the lace panel

I'll give you a progress update on the CLP in a few days time and photos of a new delivery. Yarn from the Unique Sheep for a shawl. You'll have to wait for those, the yarn is amazing and special. Come back for a look, you won't want to miss it

Must run now, time for the latest episode of the new House.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just passing through

Just a quick entry, no photos.

I found the buttons for my FLS. In the end I ordered 4 different sets of buttons during my search and of the 4 sets 1 would do but doesn't really enhance, 2 of them look nice but 1 of the sets is it, the best. It sets the jacket and the yarn off at its best.

I'll take some photos of all the sets and then I'll get the FLS finished off. Photos of progress on the CLP will be coming soon too.

Tha thats all folks

Friday, June 5, 2009

Crossing the finish line

And, Yes she did it, Yeah. The FLS is now off the needles. I cast off the 2nd sleeve yesterday afternoon, took some photos (which all turned out to be really crap) and then immediately cast on the next big project. I will let you have one photo, and believe me it's the best of them. I cannot take portrait photos of myself. Perhaps if I had a better positioned large mirror it might work. My only big mirror is directly opposite the front door so when I try to take self portraits you get the light directly behind my head bouncing off everything. So enough excuses about the crappy photo and the mess stacked up in the hall behind me too.

I think you'll all agree that is one ugly photo. The FLS is truly beautiful in real life and I am so pleased with it, I'm not sure if any photo can really do it justice, the colours are jewel tones yet soft and the yarn is so snuggly soft and delicately fluffy. This piece must have the least finishing of any project (except socks) I've ever done. The yarn was in 2 enormous skeins and as the whole body took just a bit less than one skein there are no ends but the 2 CO and BO tails to weave in. There are 2 more tails at the underarm pickup and sleeve bind off and that's it. I have to go look for more buttons though, I did get lovely buttons which would have been ideal but they are too small for the buttonhole so I have to do another search. I'll try and get DH to take a few more photos outside this weekend (if the weather holds) as you might get a better idea of the true colour in natural light. Changes - I happened to read the Yarn Harlots blog entries on her FLS just before I started mine so I followed her modification, swapping the YO increases for M1 removing the eyelet row.

Yes I have cast on the Chinese Lace Pullover and have got as far as the 12th round, no photos of this yet, there's not enough to show but I'll keep you up to date on progress next week. I'm one of those people who casts on the next project immediately after casting off the previous one (provided this has not already happened due to startitis). I have to have the next project in swing before I do any sewing on the finished project - so that I have actual knitting. That way I can do the finishing over time, it always takes me ages to get from casting off to completed project (unless it's something small like socks or scarf/shawl).

To make up for the crappiness of the FLS photo here are a couple of good photos I took in the garden the other day. I think you'll agree these are much better - there's no me in them.

A beautiful sunny day and my Laburnum looking good. This is my gateway. The Laburnum is now past its loveliest for this year, the blooms are fading and falling but I do so love it when its in bloom with all its pendulous bright yellow flowers. It was covered in masses of flowers this year, compared to last year when it wasn't at its best. I don't think any of our gardens were at their best last year. Hopefully the fact that we have had such amazing colour from our blooms so far means we are going to get a proper summer this year.

And for you further delectation - a glimpse of my Pepper waddling up the garden. She doesn't do the heat so well and while she likes to spend time in the garden with me I try to keep her inside when it gets very hot.

It's DHs birthday on Sunday and when asked what he would like to do for his birthday his answer was "forget it". Anyway we're going out to a nice restaraunt on Saturday night and there will be croissant for Sunday breakfast (we normally only do those on bank holiday weekends). OK off to do some more rounds on my CLP and attend to the laundry before DH comes home with the Friday night fish and chips.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunshine, you are my sunshine

Oh boy, have we had sunshine here for the past few days. It is so welcome, our weather has been dull and cold for so long. Of course that doesn't mean a mad rush into the sun, slowly, slowly does it. For an Irish redhead like myself one has to be careful. So, short bursts, not getting burnt or going red. If your skin has gone red in the sun you've suffered burn damage already. I do eventually take a colour - with care. The forecast is for sunshine and showers from tomorrow on but I'm hoping we are finally going to get the long, hot summer we've been promised especially after the NON summer we had last year.

No photos of knitting or anything else. I've been working away at my FLS and I'm 2 patterns and a garter stitch border from finishing the second sleeve, so nearly finished. I'll try and put a spurt on later tonight, see if I can finish it. Of course the heat we have had recently hasn't exactly made it great for knitting fluffy yarn, it gets very warm with a fluffy cardi on your knee.

I've resisted casting on my Chinese lace pullover with the mantra "I'm nearly finished my cardi" keeping me going. My friend Susan paid a quick visit last week and here comment on my FLS was that she thought it the loveliest thing she'd seen me knit to date. Of course she hasn't seen everything I've ever done and some of my earlier stuff - as in before I knew Susan - was just as nice. Of course I put off taking photos thinking I'd wait until it was finished. So photos on that soon, finished (except for buttons) and then it will be on to cast on my CLP (chinese lace pullover). I did order buttons but I think they are too small, I'm a terrible judge of button size, so I'll have to look for some more.

Pizza and tossed salad tonight I think with some cider and ice creams for afters. It is summer here after all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Progress and New Projects

I'm trying to get back on track with posting a bit better. I started out well(ish) and then went a bit slow. I thinks sometimes it is like knitting, you get black holes, where life seems to disappear and you can't seem to beat your way out of a wet paper bag.

So I do have knitting progress, as the title suggests (I really wish I could think up more imaginative titles, mine seem to be so boring). My FLS has suddenly taken on her proper personality. I have finished the body and started the first sleeve. I took some photos to mark the ocassion so without further ado - The FLS



Yeh looks huge doesn't it - but then it has to fit me. I've tried it on and it fits like a dream. It comes to just under my butt, nice length. It is so light and soft and fluffy. Admitedly you can't really see the stitch definition because of the yarn, but it is there.

I had a bit of a lapse last week - it was sort of odd, like I couldn't keep hold of my money, it was running out of my pockets like it was water. Spend, spend, spend, maybe it was something to do with spending a fair bit of money on my new Netbook and I had to spend more. OK I've calmed down now, but here are a couple of things that made it in under the wire, 2 new projects

The Chinese Lace Pullover by Angela Hahn of Knititude. I got some Artesano Alpaca DK in colour Equador, a lovely sunny yellow, my fave colour. Got the yarn from Woollyworkshop

Blue Sky Alpacas Sunday Cardigan and I got the yarn Alpaca Silk, the colour is garnet. I do so love rich jewel tones. Got this from GetKnitted

Tine to go, try and put a few inches on my sleeve. Won't have time for any tomorrow, got to put in some overtime on the housework.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

At last some photos

OK I tried this on Friday but blogger wouldn't load any photos so I'm giving this another go. It was very frustrating continually selecting photos loading them and then blogger coming up blank. But Hey TaDa! the first photo from my new Netbook and what better than the little beauty herself. I've placed it next to an A4 folder for scale, see how small it is and it is only 1.5kg - a little under 31/2 lb

Still with the plastic sheet on in an attempt to keep the fingerprints off for a while, it is what they call piano black, that glossy black that is beautifully and absolutely fantastic for gathering fingerprints - wouldn't those CSIs have a field day with it.

Well, what do you think, isn't it lovely? I'll leave you to drool over my baby.

OK now for the knitting update. I finished my latest washcloth using The Unique Sheep Pima Petite in colour Rubber Ducky, this was the April delivery from The Rubber Ducky Club.

I used a pattern which I had previously purchased from The Unique Sheep called "Woven". I love it, this is a softer, silkier cotton than Peaches & Creme. The skeins are only 2 oz but as you can see from the photo I have quite a bit over, in fact 7/8 oz. The washcloth is 8" square and I'm hoping to get a soapsack out of the remainder, it certainly goes a long way. The woven pattern is yarn hungry too as it uses cables to achieve that basket weave effect. I'll have to try a lacey pattern with my June yarn. Not that far away now.

I mentioned previously that I was working on a February Lady Sweater (FLS). It is quite difficult to take photos of to get the shape so I tried putting it on a hanger. This worked better, I hung it from a door, but all our doors are darkish so the colours haven't come up as well as they might. Anyway here's the latest, I may have put another inch or 2 on since then but it's basically the same.

I want this to be nice and long to cover most of the tops I would wear it with so I think I will make the body about 19" from underarm. The sleeves will also be full length, not 3/4, I'm not a big fan of 3/4 sleeves, especially in a country with our climate, we certainly don't get temps anywhere near even what London gets in the summer.

Right on the last lap for this post, no more about knitting or my new Netbook. We went to the movies last night to see the new Star Trek, I've always been a big fan, now not a full blown Trekkie, but I've certainly watched every incarnation of it and all the films so far. I have to say it was superb, a really big action movie and they managed to get the casting right, you could see the original characters there still. I'm hoping there will be more. I highly recommend it, even if you've never watched any Star Trek before, if you like action movies you'll love this

So enough for now. Off to put in some knitting time on my FLS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


So here it is, the first post from my new Netbook. It arrived today, in fact it arrived while I was out for lunch. I came home to find it waiting on my back doorstep. It has taken hours to get this far so no photos yet. It has been charged, configured and a few things installed but I haven't as yet restored my last backup. However, just to test things out I thought I'd better check there were no problems posting - haha.

I will take some photos of this little beauty too and include them in a future post.

I had a fabulous lunch with my young friend today, she is looking great for someone entering their 3rd trimester. She loved the BSJ too, unfortunately the buttons had not arrived on time so we have arranged to meet up again next month before she goes on maternity leave.

So....enough for now, more will follow in a few days when I get all my files and documents restored and get the new photos out of my camera.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Problem solved

Yes well sort of solved. Ahem, well yes, a new Netbook is on its way to me. We have not yet managed to have a look into the problem with my laptop, so it is still in its bag in the dunces corner. We do intend to try and fix it, provided it is not going to be expensive.

I spotted an extremely attractive offer for the new Samsung NC12 - a 12" Netbook and I couldn't resist. It is so lovely looking and so up to date. All I have to do now is wait, impatiently, for it to arrive, then get it set up the way I want it again. I have a backup that was taken not very long ago and I'm probably only missing some photos which are still on my card. In the meantime I'm still using DHs laptop so no photos.

The weather here has finally decided to pick itself up off the floor and we have had a few sunny days, so I ran around like a mad thing on Sunday and took lots of photos in the garden as this just happens to be the time when most of my shrubs and trees are in flower. I really will have to consider planting some summer flowering plants, but I'm a very poor gardener I don't really get the whole messing about in soil stuff.

I also took some knitting progress shots but you won't be seeing any of those until my new netbook is in action, so that was just to tease you.

I'm out all day tomorrow catching up with people and getting the weekly shop done. I'm meeting up with an ex work colleague for lunch and giving her the Baby Surprise jacket, I hope she likes it. I've ordered buttons for it but if they don't arrive in todays post I'll have to get them to her another time. Then meeting my BF for the afternoon, shopping and coffee and talking and .....

So - without the photos a quick post. Now I'm off to get the "tarting up" process started, after all if I'm meeting old friends I need to look like I'm a lady of leisure. Nails, face, hair,.........

Happy knitting all

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I lied, no photos. My laptop has let me down, I tried all day yesterday to get it to start and it won't even hiccup. I'm using DHs laptop to write this and we are going to have to look into my laptops problems. I feel lost without it, and while I can use DHs while he is at work it limits me a bit. At this stage I don't know how serious it is as it will need a bit of looking at, but whatever it's going to cost money.

My knitting has been dead slow and stop, I haven't achieved more than a couple of rows a day at most this past while and there have been a few days where no knitting has been done at all. Having said that I did start another washcloth as part of my Rubber Ducky club. As I hadn't used this particular cotton before I decided to use the only pattern I had specifically for it, which is called "Woven". It uses a cable to produce a basket weave effect and while the pattern is slowish I am loving the yarn. It is soft and lush for a cotton, I think it would make lovely, wearble garments as well. It is smoother and finer than Peaches and Creme, not quite like a mercerised cotton, but silky. My FLS is coming along slllllllllllllllowly oh so slowly, I am down past the armholes and working down the body, but this will take a while as I want a good length. The yarn is so soft and light that the extra length won't drag the body down, so best to put a good length to it. I want to make the sleeves full length too, not 3/4, I am not a fan of 3/4 sleeves, especially in cardigans.

Yesterday was May Day bank holiday and DH had the day off but the weather was miserable here, wet, windy, cold.... So come afternoon we tackled a row of kitchen cupboards which I had started and we finished them off. I needed his help as I can't get down on my knees and part of the cupboard disappeared into a corner behind another. A lot of "stuff" made it into the bin, thanks heavens this week it is the proper bin not the recycling bin. Mind you we put our recycling bin out for collection last thursday and it wasn't collected, another 2 weeks before it is due again. Anyway the result is that that particular bank of cupboards has been cleared and cleaned. Some items have been ordered to help orgainise cupboard space and this will help in the kitchen re-roganisation which is underway. It's amazing how many open packets of lasagne sheets had accumulated in the back of the cupboard.

Updates will happen but I don't know when. And photos? I may have to wait on getting my own laptop back in business. First off to see if it is fixable ... if not it may have to be replaced. "Money, money,'s a rich mans world"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm afraid this will be a pictureless post as progress is happening but I haven't taken any photos.

Last week we discovered that my car had a broken front spring so it had to go for new springs. That happened last Friday and then we also had to book in DHs car to get a wheel bearing replaced. Mine didn't cost as much as I thought it might and DHs came in under warranty so no charge, woo hoo, sigh of relief the bank balance is still healthy.

Of course this has driven me to more seriously consider the lifespan of my car. It will be 8 years old come August and I have had to spend some money on it over the years. I don't do big mileage as now I'm retired I'm at home most of the week but my journeys tend to be longer and I need a car that can deliver performance. I have been hmming and haing about whether to change my car for the past year and more and I still can't decide. As a result I decided to do a bit of ground work and spent a lot of hours yesterday doing the rounds of some car dealers. I came home with brochures and prices and still I can't decide. I think my problem is that none of the current models in my range speak to me. I still love my little car but it is getting older and it is very sporty, you have to sit down into it and it has a sport suspension and this is what is driving me to even consider changing.

So what to do, my best option is a Seat Ibiza, which is bigger overall than my little Megane coupe but I can purchase with a 3 year 0% finance option (and it comes in bright yellow, big plus). I saw a beautiful Tigra which was on special, the local dealer had a few on special and the prices were extremely attractive but unless I want to go into my capital for the whole purchase amount (which I could but I feel i don't really want to) any finance option would incur interest. Now that doesn't make sense, I really begrudge the extra cost. I started out looking at the little cars, but they all come in only a 1 litre engine, if we lived in town or the outskirts these would be fine as they are all I would need for urban driving, but most of my driving is country and you do need a bigger engine.

The result is I think I'm going to sit on this for a few months and see what I feel then. My thinking had been that in the current economic climate and from all that had been hashed over about how bad the car market was I would be in a position to get a bargain. This doesn't seem to be the case here in Northern Ireland, cars are still expensive and I haven't found any great bargains. So no decision yet, my car is worth more to me on the road than trade in.

The other thing I did yesterday was get to the hairdresser. Due to retiring I hadn't managed to get myself back there since last September. Result - my hair had gotten very long and grown out of its style AND my colour was well faded out and I seem to be getting whiter too. So time for a cut and colour, my colour is now better and I always feel like it gives me my skin colour back too. AND my style is now short, easier to keep, better for days at home when I don't want to fuss about styling and of course as the weather warms it will be cooler. At the moment it is all styled and dried nicely as per the hairdresser, time will tell how well I manage it, my hope is that I can wash and "fluff" it for those days when I'm just at home, and a quick styling will do when I'm going out.

So enough for now, I hope to have some photos for my next post. Time to be off now and get organised to go to town for my weekly shop and then meet my friend. We are going to have a DVD evening with finger food instead of a formal meal. Just 2 of us tonight. it's normally 3 but our third is dealing with the death of a friend from agressive breast cancer and also recovering from another friend losing her partner to cancer last week. She has to go tonight to visit her friends mother so we're thinking of her as she has had a very bad time of it this past while. I hope you all keeping well out there in blog land and if not, keeping as positive as you can.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Girl Interrupted

I was intending to write this post about 4 or 5 days ago and to Email my friend Katherine too. Apologies Katherine if you're reading this before I manage to get my email finished and sent. I have been messing about at this and that and couldn't honestly tell you exactly what I've been doing.

Well, OK, DH and I celebrated our Pearl wedding Annivesary, but it was a very quiet celebration, just a meal out for the 2 of us. That was Good Friday 10th April. We had a very quiet Easter, DH had 2 days holiday, but he was just glad to get a rest. Then SIL came over for a few days to visit MIL, from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th. DH and I took SIL and MIL out for meal on Thursday evening. We went out about 6:30 and our first choice of restaurant couldn't give us a table until 8:00 so we walked 2 blocks to "The Point" and had a lovely meal. Despite how tiny MIL is she finished everything and finished off with an "Irish Black Velvet" coffee which contained about 3 different shots and she enjoyed every last drop of it. So here we are now it's the 18th and it sems like it was only about 2 days since I posted last instead of 12.

Now for the important part, the knitting progress. After the last post I did start the FLS, I'm still working the garter stitch yoke - why, well here is where the girl interrupted comes from.

I was in touch with an ex work colleague who is expecting her first baby and arranging to meet her for lunch some day soon. Well guess what I decided this needed something for the baby and what better excuse to knit a BSJ. I found a nice brightly coloured skein of rayon boucle from Yarnstoutopia (an etsy seller) I thought it was just right for a BSJ.

So here it is off the needles and looking nothing like a garment of any sort. At this stage you wonder how it can ever become anything other than a mishapen wash cloth?

Well, as everyone who has ever knit a BSJ before knows, it does....and beautifully. Still waiting for its seams, but I want to let my friend see it next week before that happens. I won't be seeing my ex work colleague until the week after that at the earliest anyway, I hope she likes it. At the moment I have no idea (and I don't know if she knows either) if it is a boy or girl. I have to look for some buttons, I was thinking of trying to find some ladybird buttons just to finish off its bright and colourful aspect.

And how is the FLS going? Well here is the story so far, I've added a few more rounds to it since the photo was taken a few days ago and I'm going to add a few more this evening. Perhaps I will manage to get to the end of the yoke. The photo really doesn't do it justice. The yarn is super soft - Cherrytree hill Alpine baby a soft, soft, mohiar boucle, the colourway is cabin fever with shades of ochre, cherry red, purple, green, navy. I'm hoping it will go with lots in my wardrobe.

It has been a beautiful day here for a change, warm, dry and sunny, and it is supposed to be equally nice tomorrow. So time to wrap up for now. Hope all your projects are progressing as you would hope.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Where did March go?

OK I was just trying to think up a more interesting title than "I'm back" or something equally descriptive but I'm not that good. I still don't know where March went though. I have been online, keeping up with my Emails and reading blogs that I follow but that always seem to take so much time I never get around to posting here.

So to put that right I'll update you on a few things. The apres surf hoodie is now entering its final stages and I have some pics. I have spent the past month working hard on it, getting out and about, sorting and clearing, some cleaning,.... get the picture. So to get on with the show here's the latest with the hoodie.


I know it's a bit difficult to see, the only bit to finish here on the body is the neck and hood band, pick up stitches round each sis=de of the neck opeing and all round the hood. The pattern calls for a SS band finished with an ICord bind off. However as I replaced the ICord bind off hem with garter stitch I think the band will be plain garter stitch (or maybe moss stitch for more stability it will look similar).

See here the first sleeve resting beside the body.

Second sleeve progress. I took these yesterday and I'm now on to the sleeve cap and I'm hoping to finish the sleeve some time tonight/tomorrow.

Guess what I'll do then? The neckband or cast on the February Lady sweater? It will probably be the FLS so I can get it set up for my relaxing knitting. The band is going to require some concentration. I think I'll block the pieces before sewing up, something I don't normally do but I think I will do here.

It is wet and cold here today, the cloud is so low over the mountain that it is dark and miserable. After a few warm and sunny days in march it feels like we've gone back to winter again. The other main thing I was doing in March was reading, I've had my nose buried in a series of books and I really need to start to ration the reading to fit other things in.

I really need to get some laundry done as I have fallen behind but I seem to be finding all sorts of things to do today other than housework. I spent Friday clearing a couple of kitchen cupboards, finding things whose sell by dates predated the ark. I tell you I had no idea how long some things were lurking in there! Still have loads more of those to do and I think the cupboards will probably be shuffled (by that I mean moving dishes and edible goods to different cupboards).

This Friday - Good Friday - 1oth April is our 30th (Pearl) wedding Anniversary. I've got some tie tacs on order from a couple of etsy sellers for DH, so I'm hoping they arrive this week. We're going out for a meal on Friday night and then we have the long weekend over Easter. I'm hoping the weather warms up a bit again so that DH can enjoy the few days off work. SIL is coming over to visit MIL for a few days next week (Tuesday to Friday) so we'll probably take them out somewhere nice to eat one evening.

Katherine yes I got your Email and I owe you a reply big time later in the week

Happy Knitting all

Monday, March 9, 2009

Slow dead slow and stop

Afraid there's not much progress to report here. I've had a bad few days, time of the month days. Unfortunately I'm still putting up with this part of my life, although they are getting less frequent they are also getting way more troublesome. I've had 4 pretty miserable days and I haven't really any progress to show for it. However I'm fighting a bad case of hovering startitis, my hands and mind have this almost overwhelming desire to cast on new things.

I have been harbouring the desire to make a February Lady Sweater for a while and after the recent entry by the Yarn Harlot on her recent accomplishment I've got the itch again. I even went into my stash and I think I've found the yarn for it. I have 2 enormous skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Alpine Baby. I will need to swatch for it as I'm not sure if it will fit the bill.

We were at friends for dinner on Saturday night and it turns out my friend could do with a pick me up, she is going through a bad patch. We have arranged to meet up for a day out next week and I'm considering wether or not I can manage to produce a pair of socks for her before then.

My Apres Surf Hoodie is growing inch by slow inch, I am a pattern off dividing the front for the neck and another pattern will reach the armholes so there is progress, just none to show.

I can't leave you without some photo to look at so I'm looking back through my finished photos, I'm posting a couple of finished items not on Ravelry just for your edification

This is a clapotis I knit for my MIL christmas a year ago, it's an Alchemy silk yarn, has a beautiful drape.

A pair of socks for DH about the same time using Lornas Laces colour Safari, this is one of my favourite sock yarns, chuck it in the washing machine, has a lovely twist to it.

A scarf I knit for SIL using Posh Yarn Eva 4 ply. This yarn has a beautiful drape due to its silk and cashmere mix. The colourways produced by Posh Yarn are unique.

Hopefully this is enough to keep you going, I'll try for some more progress for my next post.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike, Fools.....?

What's that they say? Seldom differ.... I was just catching up on the latest from my blog list and found that my friend Katherine from Texas and I seem to have been of like mind. What better than something quick and satisfying - a wash cloth. While doing laundry the other day it became apparent that some of our store bought towelling wash cloths were getting a bit tatty. I hit the Peaches and Creme stash (yes I currently have a separate stash of Peaches and Creme cotton) and came up with a lovely bright yellow to match in with my bathroom towels. Here's the result

Tuesday evening I had a look through my stitch a day calendar and found Foaming Waves, what better for a wash cloth. The above photo I took Wednesday lunch time, by early evening I had cast off, resulting in ...... tah dah

I have to crochet a hanging loop and weave in the ends but it's done. A quick and satifying knit, just what I needed for instant gratification after the shawl.

BTW my sister got her birthday parcel the day after I posted it - fast post, it was posted first class. Got a quick text from her yesterday to say...quote "I love the scarf". As she was going out last night I haven't been talking to her yet, I'll let you know if she gives me an update.

Back tracking to last Friday I cast my February sock kit from the LOTR sock club - Hobbiton. Progress to date, it's a bit slow as there are quite a few cables. I've left out all the purls in this pattern, don't know why, just felt like it and I'm OK with how that works. The Hobbit holes continue all down the foot in the pattern but I'm going to have to work the foot in plain stocking stitch on this one. I have a lot of problems with odema in my feet and legs and if I work the cables on the feet I'll never get any shoes on over them. I love the yarn it is so squishy so I'll sacrifice a bit if the overall look to make them wearable.

So there you go an update on the newer stuff I'm working on. The slipover? Hasn't moved I'm still trying to decide about the sleeves. I've gone back to another WIP, the Apres Surf Hoodie, which has been on the needles since - can't remember exactly when but certainly before last September. I'll get up to date photos on that soon. It's on ravlery but not an up to date photo. The back is finished and I'm about half way up the front. I love knitting it as I always love knitting 4ply even though it's slower than worsted. No more detail I'll save that for another post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ready for posting

OK the shawl is now finished, totally. It's blocked, parcelled and ready to be posted tomorrow. That means a trip to the Post Office, my closest is 6 miles. It should get there in time for her birthday on Thursday. I hope she likes it. So anybody out there want to see a photo?

Can't hear you, you have to shout, it's a long way out here to the back end of nowhere. Still not hearing anybody!!!

All right so someone wants the final photo, me too, so here you are.

I dashed out during a sunny spell and quickly threw the shawl on the front lawn (looking decidedly shaggy after the winter and not yet ready for its first cut of the year)

I wanted to get a photo in good light and after blocking it is now too long to fit on the rug in the living room. My front garden slopes down so I apologise that it looks funny, that's due to shawl lying on an angled lawn and me trying to fit it all in one shot. I used the phone again for scale.

So now that you are all bored to death of what seems to be my only project I will have to keep you a bit more up to date with other projects. But not tonight, I like to keep something to talk about for another day or I'll run out of things to tell you. I promise that my next post will have other knitting photos and as I have a variety of projects on needles maybe you won't get bored.

This of course means that I will have to get back to some cleaning, cooking, laundry,... I no longer have the excuse of kntting to a deadline (groan). The dust bunnies have been sort of piling up, they are hopping about playfully round the rooms here and teasing poor Pepper (my fat, lazy cat).

DH spent most of the weekend working at his mothers. She had a leak in the drive and it had gotten progressively worse since Christmas. He contacted a plumber but they said to call them again when the leak was dug up. So he spent Saturday digging a hole in the drive and fixing the pipe, then Sunday filling it in again. He is now suffering from aches and pains and bashed knuckles, etc. A lot of hard work, but it is done. The water service had sent her out a 28 day notice to get it fixed or they would do it then charge her for the work.

So no more chat for tonight as it is late and I must post this, finish my surfing and get on to bed. Pepper is waiting somewhat impatiently now so that she can come to bed too.