Thursday, 30 August 2007

socks! are done!!

My 3rd pair of socks are done! Using Trekking XXL yarn, I'm only knitting a very basic pattern and determined to knit a few to get to grips with sock knitting on DPN's I'm now scouring the net in search of yummy sock patterns a bit more adventurous!!

My sideways wrap cardigan is coming along very well and the knitting is a real pleasure (so far!).

Today I managed to track a source of "boiled wool" fabric! hurrah! samples and prices are on their way to me and I plan to make up some jackets.

Last remaining days before start of new term in September for the lads, we plan a day out, possibly to the local garden show held annually this weekend, Sunday probably! (secretly I'm hoping for a craft hut there like I seem to remember there being from years ago!!).

New Look sewing patterns are reduced until Mid September and I've had my eye on a couple but need to sort out my plans which WILL include sensible sewing for a new wardrobe!

oops! I seem to have gone all varigated, like my yarn!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A Bank Holiday family get together

We all got together on the Bank Holiday Monday at my SIL's family home catching up with my 2nd SIL and her family who travelled down for a few days stay.
We enjoyed a tour of their newest venture which is a luxury styled log cabin accommodation aimed at the fishing and country type folk - tremendously posh! together with a popular restaurant all set in their lovely land.
We bbq'd in the early evening, sat outside in their garden playing with Eddie their new 7month old puppy! a big pawed bouncy bundle of Rottie fun! He is to be their "guard dog" and we expect he'll be a bit more fierce next time we visit when, no doubt, he'll have grown up!!! Matt enjoyed flinging toys for him to fetch and generally tired himself and Eddie out, while we sat and drank wine in the sunshine!
Lovely to catch up with the children too, although now "young men" and of course the grown up ones too! Nice to see Claire "home" after her terrible accident albeit sad to see her in a wheelchair, she has certainly been through an ordeal.

OTN: the sideways jacket!

OTN's as of this weekend IS the sideways jacket kit! Decided this will be lovely for the autumn and the wool is fabulous to knit with, I've not done much but its looking LOVELY and the colours are yummy too!
I'll post a picture when it looks a little more interesting!
about to go OTN's is the front band to be picked up and knitted to finish the Patons flower garden cardigan, should be able to wear that a little before the weather "turns"!
I'll post a picture when its finished!
Nearly finished is the sock! I have three balls of yarn sat in waiting! which to choose!? and shall I try another pattern? I've been warned that my Jitterbug may not stretch to a pair of full sized socks therefore I might try a lovely picot edged trainer sock and aim for that for the yummy scrummy Jitterbug yarn!
A couple of people have hinted about my making socks for them! I've managed to avoid a commitment! I don't generally sew (and definitely don't knit!) for others these days. I knitted a couple of scarves in funky eyelash yarn for my SIL-ONLOAN (if they were to marry she'd BE my sil!) but thats about it!
Waiting now for some library books to come in to my branch, mostly knitting books!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Day Trip out

On Saturday we had a day trip out to Curborough Antiques and Craft Centre which was a lovely drive out even though it was not easy to find and we had to stop at nearby garden centre for directions (the signposting is appalling!).

Of course I couldn't resist buying some sock yarn from The Knitting Corner! and Andrew picked up an old tennis racquet too! for £3.00. We had tea and cake in "Mabels Tea Room" and icecream from the farm shop to finish the trip before finding a lovely pub in nearby Lichfield. The weather was great! and surprisingly all the family enjoyed our day out!!

Its the Bank Holiday weekend and I am off work, hence the trips! and today we are having a bbq in the garden (Sunday) and tomorrow we're off to visit my SIL and her family together with my other SIL who is travelling down from Newcastle. We're planning to have lunch out, possibly at their restaurant, which we've not been to so far!

Last week or so of the school holidays, all the usual tasks like school uniforms and shoes are done! just enjoying the last of the summer mostly in the garden! My second sock is nearly complete and the Patons Flower Garden cardi only requires the front band knitting and THEN I shall choose my NEXT PROJECT!!

In Memory of: My Mum, Wendy

In memory of my Mum, Wendy, who died on this day just 4yrs ago on her 62nd birthday of cancer and whom I miss, still, most dreadfully: A collection of photo's from old albums

Monday, 20 August 2007

Knitting : projects progress and the show!

This is the book I forgot to upload before purchased on our wrong day out, I mean grand day out. Its quite nice and its a nice "read" but nothing in it inspires me to rush out and buy 47 different colours just to try it and prove that colour can be fun!

My Patons secret garden project is coming along nicely, now that I've written out the shaping for the fronts, its been a doddle to knit up, and the left front was knitted over the weekend and I'm just in the final stages of armhole shaping on the right front and have the ribbed section done on the first of the sleeves too.

Next I need to start thinking about what to work on - shall it be the wool sideways jacket? or shall it be the DB pure silk cardigan? (OR will it be something NEW from the latest Rowan collection) (OR will it be something completely NEW from the latest knitting and stitch show and exhibition at the NEC next month!?)

My long time sewing-pal (and now knitting-pal too as we've both "refound knitting" big time at the same time!) Ann and her daughter, Elizabeth, are also planning to go and as yet we're undecided to the day but as I'm only working on the Friday, it leaves thurs/sat/sun free.

I like going to the shows and my knitting pal, Sally, who is our local Rowan Consultant and therefore a "colleauge" too has suggested that next year we look further afield to go out to shows and exhibitions outside of our locality! We've decided we'll go together and will look forward to planning some rather more adventurous ones than just the NEC!

My (late) Mother had two sewing friends she made who lived locally and turned out to be two of Gill Arnold's students who would regularly travel together to attend classes and workshops on a variety of sewing and related needlecrafts without turning a hair! mind. its easier when you don't have a family to moan and groan at you! not that mine would. necessarily. in fact they'd probably be PLEASED I was out from under their feet and stopping them from doing "boys" things like watching sport on tv! All this will CHANGE from September! from SEPTEMBER I will be changing my working schedule to free up 3 out of every 4 weekends and work week DAYS instead! This ought to improve our "family life" by giving us free time together when we're all at home together at the same time!
it WILL mean, however, that 3 days a week we'll be eating later and we'll have to hope the lads get on top of their homework in a timely fashion or we'll all be up till midnight!

The Wrong Day Out!

oh dear. I think I've uploaded the wrong day out pictures of me! I'm certain I was wearing a pink skirt and blue bamboo top! the photo manager seems to have given up the will to live and is refusing to co-operate - perhaps later on when its recovered I'll have another go at editing the post.
Its just the ones with me wearing the brown skirt that are incorrect for this occasion, the others are the right ones.
(they all the same after a while, photos! we've got 2 folders of summer holiday ones which look identical on account of we went to the same Spanish destination two years running!! and its the same with the Christmas ones too - opening presents with the children).

Days Out! Teenage Angst! and new handbags!

We had a nice couple of days out which included a drive out to Market Harborough where we spent a couple of hours walking and enjoying a pleasant drink in a country pub after walking round one of the Battle field trails at nearby Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park. Unfortunately the main exhibition is closed for refurbishment but we had an interesting time there anyway and would revisit in the future.
While driving down we rather rashly suggested that Matt might bring along some of his new cd's that he'd had bought for him for his recent birthday. By the end of the journey we were ready to jump off a high bridge! We had to stop twice for Les to wipe the tears! and felt thoroughly depressed! all that angst! all that heartache! I don't remember my teenage years like that, but it must be different these days! I suggested on the way back that we might listen to some Abba! or some Steps! or even Britney or Kylie .. but I was told in no uncertain terms that I must NEVER EVER mention that he might have liked these in a pre teen age ..
oh well.
I quite enjoyed singing-along to some of those jolly tunes.
Now, I suppose we've got to listen to bands like My Chemical Romance and others that I can't quite remember offhand having never HEARD OF THEM before.
Found myself saying things that I swore I'd NEVER say to MY children in that "old parent" way of "WHO did you say he was? .. WHAT sort of name is THAT then!?" and (worse) "can we turn it DOWN please?" (headache from volume and all the crashing and thudding).
Anyway we all had a good day out and the weather was generally kind to us and best of all we managed to get my birthday present!!
A lovely little handbag shop revealed a selection of gorgeous bags to be on special offer! I couldn't resist looking and before long had selected a pair which the assistant kept for me while we finished the day out/walking. I have had these as my "birthday present".
We don't in our family generally "do" birthdays. Other than the children, of course. It started when money was tight after I gave up work to have the children, and has continued to be our habit that basically money is STILL tight despite my return to (part time) work!!!

Never mind. generally we afford what we want as well as what we might need its just there's no surprise on the day! In the days when I could afford to buy things I used to regularly buy handbags, these days I make one last until it collapses! which mine has been in a state of for the last 6 months or so! the zip went initially but I managed to find a way to get its teeth to connect which was successful on most occasions but I got into the habit of gripping in with my hand just in case it hadn't closed and it will be nice to go out without worrying if your bag is open or not!!

Lastly! we stopped off at nearby Atherton and found a rather nice bookshop which had a copy of a Kaffe Fasset knits book! for £5! We'd hardly got UP the road when the family started groaning! up ahead -- a WOOL SHOP!! they had that resigned expression as they headed over to a bench and sat down looking glum as I pinged the doorbell as I entered for a closer look!

It was a nice shop. they had some nice (and new) yarns but nothing out of the ordinary and mostly baby yarn and mostly acrylicy stuff. I was wearing my new bamboo top and the assistant looked quite pleased to see me but sadly there was nothing there I could feel justified in buying!

Finished the evening off with a meal out at lovely little pub that Les had previously celebrated his 60th birthday couple of years ago with his work colleagues before coming home and collapsing with a cup of tea and a sit down!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Rewriting the Pattern (and reknitting the left front!)

A bit painful and tedious! BUT after knitting the left front on this Patons Secret Garden shaped cardigan TWICE already, finding the instructions confusing, I finally gave IN and sat and wrote it all out!

Don't look too hard! you'll see I didn't quite trust myself and added the stitches increased and decreased too!! oh well, at least I can be fairly reassured it will at least be CORRECT in the end.

What confused me was the remembering of the simultaneous shaping happening on both sides at different rows but within the same set of rows. I'm sure I could have heaved and tugged and frightened the poor front into shape, but can't guarantee to match the right front later as well!

There are no more than 30 odd stitches at anyone time and 5.5mm needles mean this isn't too big a job to rework just tedious being the THIRD attempt!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Happy Birthday!!

its actually my brother, Martin's birthday today! mine was Sunday! here are my lovely cards and here too is the hand made one I did for Martin using papers, foam and peeloffs and some nice stick on elements bought from Lakeland ages ago!

we enjoyed a pleasant drink out in a country pub by the canal.

New Fencing!

Over the last fortnight we've had new fencing in our back garden going halves with our neighbour! it looks nice and smart and we've cut back a lot of the bushes and plants growing there and plan to do "something" perhaps next year to further enhance the garden!

Lace Bookmarks

These are free standing lace bookmarks that I embroidered on heavyweight soluble stabiliser and I'm not sure if you can see, but I've added some toning beads to further embellish. Pretty. not sure what I'll do with them.

Patons Secret Garden yarn/cardigan

I've actually almost completed the back on this project. The yarn is a bit acrylicy really to knit with, but I'm enjoying the project anyway and though I had to do an emergency check of measurements as the back seemed to be awfully long I've stuck pretty much to the instructions and it looks like it will be a better fit!
I've talked to a few knitting pals and colleagues who have convinced me to have confidence in knitting to the bust size and ensure the garment is loose fit in style to accommodate the pear shape and hips!! this, being a shaped cardigan with single button closure is a nice project for me! Absolute bargain too! the whole thing has cost me under £8 including pattern!


Another scary image of me! my foot this time! this is the trekking sock yarn I purchased from Kay who has an ebay shop and lives locally and from where I purchased my sock yarn from.

I am enjoying this knitting very much, and the socks are lovely! in fact I'm further on with sock number 2 than the next pic shows, however I cannot be bothered to take another photo just to show how far!!

Knitting and Embroidery Projects

I left off the frill and plan to do "something" at the neckline, possibly beads, possibly ribbon or possibly some other trim! its lovely to wear, nice and light and I enjoyed knitting with it, however it has come up rather large!

Larger than me! and I am pretty large! particularly the upper part and really its too big at the neck and shoulders.

WHERE to start!?

EEK! what a terribly busy few weeks! and what TERRIBLE weather, again! in fact terrible is a good word for me right now!

First off, to sum up, my main pc downstairs has decided to go on strike. again. had to send begging messages and promises of large JD's all round to my brother, David, again for more HELP!? Luckily he's resigned to this and normally is quite stoic about it all and has promised to come over and sort me out with something or other to do with disks that need reloading.

That leaves us all now fighting upstairs over the lads' pc! which isn't dignified and isn't all that successful considering at least ONE of them is inches taller than me!

Quite a bit of celebrating too! Jul/Aug are good months for us as we have my birthday closely followed by one of my brothers in Aug which follows on from my other brother and one of our sons in the July! In the "old days" the celebrations used to LAST through july-aug too! but we're not such big drinkers now as once we used to be!

Knitting wise, I've finished the Sirdar Just Bamboo top and it looks quite nice. I'm disappointed in it overall as its rather large! I'd say 1-2 sizes and of course its starting to sag a bit and I had a panicky moment (its very light to wear) whereby I thought it had dropped away!! Still. its had three outings and overall I like the yarn and the pattern.

I decided against the frill in the end kept it plain. You'll see from the pictures that its really not best suited for my narrow and sloping shoulders and I'd rework the shoulders and neck in the event I make it again. which I might. as my local outlet has a 25% sale until October!

Then I had my birthday! yay!! In reality we don't in fact do that much to celebrate, however this year I had a couple of pals visit me while at work on the Sat and I went out for coffee and took a loooong break to catch up on gossip which was nice! I booked the day off for the Sunday and my stepfather, Graham, knocked the door Sat pm and took us out for a couple of glasses of wine! Friday, I should have mentioned before, Les took the day off work and we had an afternoon bbq before heading off for a glass of wine and watch the latest Harry Potter film. (which the lads enjoyed. I took it all in and was glad of the peace and quiet and spent half the film thinking about my OWN knitting projects and the other half looking at all the HP knitting that I've noticed before and wondered whether to buy the Charmed Knits book in the hopes of finding at least ONE of the cardigans!!). Les endured the film. I could tell he was bored. but he too was glad of the peace and quiet!!

Just as well we had a busy weekend of celebrating, Sunday my ACTUAL birthday was a washout! not weather wise! it was forecast to be poor and ended up being LOVELY and SUNNY. and we found ourselves stuck! Eventually we went out to a pub for a drink a bit of a drive around the countryside and came home for an Indian takeaway! We watched a dvd that Les had selected from Tesco months ago which we'd not watched, The Island, I think. it was okay. we had to do a bit of enduring to get through that at times!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Patons Flower Garden : bargains!

(oops! sorry! read the post underneath first!)

At the same time, I looked at three packs of 10 Patons "Flower Garden" yarns down from £33.50 to just £7.50 in shades of blue, pink or brown.
Found a couple of pattern leaflets to accompany this yarn and number PBN0000-03290 conveniently has a cardigan using this quantity!
had to have it! (didn't I?).
I need to be careful! I'm steadily gaining a "stash" again! but this was such a bargain, and just the colours I like and a nice pattern too!

I didn't have time to rummage more bargains! my son textd me to say he'd finished shopping! and we met up for a rather posh coffee/juice in a smart shop to round off the birthday treat!
Missed the train home by 5mins and discovered, too late, it was an hourly service at that time! we ran for the bus (30min service) as I could see it rounding the corner and JUST made it!

Jaeger Book Bargains!

While out in the town yesterday, left my son with his uncle, my brother, Martin, and his partner, Pete, to buy some cd's for his birthday present, I fair RAN for the haberdashery department in the large department store!
just for a LOOK.
and found they still had their sale table with some rather nice bargains!
I bought these two books, Jaeger, thinking they'd be nice to have even if I don't actually knit anything!
  • JB03 Seven Jaegar handknit designs using silk & siena down from £2.95 to just £0.75
  • JB28 16 Designer mens garments by Martin Storey using matchmaker merino and extra fine merino dk down from £4.50 to just £1.00

Update (Sirdar Just Bamboo) (80's revival) (Rowan book)

Not far off finishing my just bamboo project. getting quite excited TO finish it now!
I had a reply from Sirdar regarding my query on the yarn appearing to change in thickness throughout some of the balls.
They won't confirm its the "character" of this type of yarn and suggest I pack the project and post it to them for examination!
At the moment I am reluctant to do this; my friend, Ann, is waiting to hear about her similar query some 3 weeks now and while she had a refund against her purchase from the store, I would like to keep mine and being a "top" is not quite as noticeable as a cardigan where the difference in thickness yielded through the knitting up is more marked.
I don't think I'd knit with this yarn again, though not so much because of the query, rather I want to move ON and knit with other yarns!
I was rather dismayed to read that apparently, knittingly, we are to have an 80's revival! in yarns (mohairs) and patterns/styles!
THIS is about the time I stopped! knitting! just after I got rather sick OF mohair and 80's styles and patterns! I could not believe it when I read this!!

I'm still waiting (almost) PATIENTLY for my copy of the latest Rowan book to fall through my letterbox!!
Have managed to resist looking through store copies in two shops over recent few days!
I have had a sneaky look at the companion new books, and got close enough to the stashed NEW YARNS coming in to feel quite FAINT at the thought of the battering our bank account might have to endure!!
I'm disappointed my copy has not arrived yet! one would think the benefit of being a member is that you at least get the book at the earliest opportunity if not before the general knitting public!?