Sunday, 28 September 2008

Turned a corner, I mean the heel

I've turned a corner and managed to get back on track craftwise and am cracking on with my socks! Above you can see I've turned the heel after 5 repeats of the pattern (not the 6 suggested, I don't care for socks much past the ankle).
LOVE this pattern! easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Still struggling with the painful shoulder, injection last week only took the edge off the worst of the pain, and knitting the sideways jacket has proved too painful after an hour of knitting so this has been set aside - temporarily! (I hope). Socks! then, it is!

Going to try and update Ravelry with progress and stash this week.

Help with the groceries

Lilly. Helping us put the groceries away, sat in one of the fruitbowls. (she's actually hoping for *cat-meat*).

Have I got a bit of cloth?

dh to me : "have you got a bit of cloth .. ?" (enquiring voice)

me to dh : "HAVE I GOT A BIT OF CLOTH .. ?" (screechily suspicious voice, repeating to play for time while I wonder what he might want it for)

dh to me : "to polish with?" (indicates car outside window and tries to hide washing up cloth and two tea towels with suspiciously oily looking patches on them)

me to dh: "errr .." (trying to avoid the question directly which is hard given he's looking pointedly at 5 drawers and 4 shelves, 3 boxes and about 14 BAGS of *cloth* ..) "errr. I might have .."

me to dh: points to some not that spectacular polycotton which at a push I could MAYBE spare him a 9" square off the several m's I've got of it if he REALLY wants some ..

dh to me: points enthusiastically in return to my stash of best quilters cotton and indicates my Amy Butler might serve purpose of oily rag cloth and could he try some of THAT. . please?
me to dh: quick shove to the shoulder and frogmarch OUT of sewing room with 6" square of the not that spectacular polycotton which given the alternative I found I COULD maybe spare him ..

my AMY BUTLER fabric! to polish the car! I ask you! ..
(and I'm trying NOT to think about the dish cloth and the tea towel)

Friday, 26 September 2008

Friday Blog to enjoy

Please check out my cyber-pal-Jan's blog! she's got some super pics and a good read over a morning cuppa!
(check out that pink stripe bag? thats SEW me! isn't it YUMMY?)
She promises to make Fridays her blog catch up day, roll on next Friday!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Progress! (monkey socks)

Three repeats of the pattern on sock.1 completed and I've got the hang of it now!

(I think it was partly tiredness due to lack of sleep which was brought about due to an extremely painful shoulder condition plus, of course, the actual irritation of the pain itself that made me go wrong last night, initially, on the first of the repeats. I unpicked it, put it right and all is well! - wish I could say the same for my shoulder!)

I don't think I got any sleep last night at all!
I sort of remember dh getting up around 6am and I think that was when I finally dropped off, which mean, inevitably, I was late this morning waking up at exactly 8.59am and school was already some 19mins in which didn't impress the lads!
Telephoned the secretary and explained the situation and the lads went it for morning break and didn't get issued with any detentions! hurrah! and only right too!
Tomorrow I have to work, so I shall have to ensure that dh wakes ME up just incase I sleep through the alarm clock again; although I am hoping that my shoulder will have settled down as its another 24hrs since my painful injection at the Dr's! (gulp!)

I like this pattern very much!
Its a very easy and enjoyable pattern to knit too!
I'm having fun with it and I had said a lacey styled sock would be next on the list am hoping this will do to tick that particular box!

My sometime/occasional knitter colleage asked me while I had her trapped in the next seat on the train journey some several minutes in to a 2hr journey, what was the attraction of knitting socks!?
hmm. How to answer it. (how to answer it quickly in couple of sentances as people tend to fade somewhat and get that slightly panicky expression of being trapped in a fibre conversation they can see no way out of other than falling asleep, which regular readers will know this HAS happened to me on occaisions).
its all the fun of the pattern! and the challenge of trying new stitch combinations out over a small
piece of knitting with lots of different aspects eg heel flap, turning heel, gussets and toes etc, which seem to come along just at the right time to prevent boredom AND you get to use lots of different balls of wool!! Super if you get bored easily! Brilliant if you just want a quick and easy project (pick a simple pattern) and Perfect for portability! plus! at the end: a pair of yummy socks!
She wasn't convinced.
Well I had to nudge her several times to keep her from nodding off which she assured me was due to the train and NOT my knitty-conversation but she did spend rather a few minutes looking at my completed sock.1 and investigating the progress of sock.2. I don't think I have a convert, however, as she flung them back at me quickly when I suggested SHE knit a pair ..
Like I said to her its all the fun of above, and none of the worries and stresses of knitting for months and wondering WILL IT FIT ME! at the end (or even, will it suit me!)

I'm still wondering about my sideways jacket, but plodding on regardless, knitting this has taken a back seat for the moment due to the shoulder which makes it difficult handling this weighty garment and the long needles.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Look at me!

What do you think? This is my hair now its dyed! I had it cut again last night so its quite short, but it has faded nicely now (the colour) and won't need doing again (I'm told!) for another 5weeks.
I've just about got used to my hair being all one colour and NO grey! yay!!
Took me about a fortnight to get used to it and next time Steve is going to go one number down (or up? lighter anyway).
I'm not sure if the photo is blurred because of no.2.son's giggling or because of mine, either way these are two pics that show the new colour!

Thanks Jules! for nominating my blog! I had an interesting time reading your referrals and was thrilled to be included as one of them! - cyber-hugs and much chucking of balls of yumminess in the air by celebration!

DON'T talk to me about my Monkey socks!
I've gone WRONG (would you BELIEVE?)
and I wouldn't mind but I'm only ON row 3 .. blast!

I blame it on my shoulder!
Am having tremendous problems at the minute with health all round and this latest is the most PAINFUL! Today I have had an injection in my shoulder (well down a bit, more like my arm but I'm told it will travel to the shoulder and hopefully, to the elbow too!)

Either way I don't think my concentration last night was terribly good and today I need to unpick and start again ..

Monday, 22 September 2008

Decided on Monkey for socks

I've cast on and started my socks having decided to give the book a miss and go for some Monkey socks instead!

Looked at lots on Ravelry including some in same yarn - can't wait!

New Socks planned

Isn't this YUMMY?
Look at it! its fabulous with its multicolours!

Spent this afternoon rolling it up into ball ready to plan my next sock!
Bit disappointed and slightly worried, I must admit, when I first started I had small lengths rolling before the yarn was broken, altogether it weighs 98g so I should be fine.

More fun with Jewellery! a bracelet

I'm really keen to get into beads and jewellery making and when I saw the new parts in to make up a simple bracelet being demonstrated instore, I had to buy one!
Of course its no good just buying the parts! you have to buy a BOOK don't you!
I love books, and this one is very good for me as a beginner and also for showing projects that look achieveable within its covers too!

Some bits and pieces including the bracelet chain, links and beads (above)
and (below) approx 12seconds later they are made up into a bracelet!

How EASY-PEASY-LEMON-SQUEEZY is that? and the best part? I can unclip the *clippy* things and thread more or different beads when ever I want!

Looks a treat on! don't you think? Inspired now to do something a bit more challenging!

Sideways jacket back on the go!

Still OTN's from last year (gulp!) and now on the go! my sideways self-stripe jacket.

Picked up from where I left off, some 20cms into the back after the first armhole shaping, I realised why I'd lost heart with this project: I thought it was too short and feared I was wasting my time! However a knitty-pal and fellow Raveler assured me ages back that it just needed a damn good pressing on the ironing board to stretch it to length!
(I'm hoping she's right! based on her experience I'm battling on and plan to complete it before I start my next project!)

Here it is looking gorgeously finished!

Sat and knitted loads across the back last night, Lilly decided it made a super comfy cat-blanket on my knees and I had terrible job keeping her away, in the end decided to let her sit on it in case she decided to seek it out of my knitting bag while I'm not around to rescue it during the night! (I have come down first thing in the morning to find my socks or other yarn in the middle of the floor or tucked away somewhere I'm sure I'd not previously left it!).
Bertie, thankfully, does not care for knitty stuff. However he is becoming troublesome in my sewing room - again! yesterday I arrived home to find my cutting mat on table top completely empty. And all what should have been on it strewn about the room, the landing and behind the ironing board! I expect he was pretending to attack the hedgehog in the garden, either that or he feared the hedgehog about to invade and was thoughtfully hiding *stuff* for me!.

A good yarn!

Happened to come by this book in the library last week and had to select it!
Finished it last night, rather a good yawn for last thing at night this book saw me off to sleep quite nicely!
(I did enjoy it, actually! a nice light gentle read, quite predictable but nice enough anyway and brilliant value for free from the library too!).
I quite enjoy finding books about craft or that feature it, I'd love to hear of any others that you might have read too.

Summer has ended! Autumn has officially started

Well good riddance! I say! good riddance to Summer 2008 - what a complete washout! Worse, I'd say, than 2007, quite frankly I'm glad its now officially Autumn!

We've not had a bad few days particularly this weekend, mind that was no use to me while I was at work! but it did mean the family got out into the garden! dh was tackling for the 3rd weekend in a row the huge and overgrown hedge and the lads spent ages taking dozens of photo's of the little hedgehog they found (rather foolishly in my opinion) wandering about the garden sunning himself! The cats were rather interested, I gather, IN the hedgehog and apparently Lilly had to be taken inside and the door firmly closed due to trying to eat said hedgehog .. (Bertie, rather typically, hid behind a pile of newly chopped hedge clippings and waited for hedgehog to either attack or run away; in the end the lads felt sorry for him and put him out of his misery by taking HIM inside where he proceeded to watch from their bedroom window clawing at and ripping too, the net curtains! bah!).

Goodbye Summer and Hello Autumn!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Socks are done!

My socks are done! Not too sure about the colours! they aren't terribly realistic! I promise in real life these are a nice pink and bluey-green colour!

I used HipKnits Coast yarn purchased at a sewing and knitting show - last yearish? and used a pattern and instructions from my More Sensational Knitted Socks book - pages 22 and 88 for the pattern which was a nice and simple one based over 5 rounds for the pattern which I continued right up to the toes.
I used another suggestion for the heel flap, this one is similar to the Eye of Partridge I'd used on the previous pair being described as Heel St with 3-st Garter Edge on page 67.

SUPER socks! I love the colour and the pattern and you can hardly see where I've gone wrong on sock.1 which is good.

I've another skein of sock yarn but have decided to make a start on a garment for my next project, not entirely sure which of the projects for definite, but will be starting that very soon.

Another project I'm thinking of is rain coats for the lads. They've both outgrown their old ones and am thinking of making them one as I've got enough navy waterproof fabric - just need to check if I've a suitable pattern or not.
They won't wear a coat over their blazers, apparently its sissyish to do so! neither will they wear a school jumper as this is majorly sissyish! each year I promise myself I'll make them a lightweight coat that can be packed easily into their bags, maybe I will this year!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

yay! new pc! at last!

Super surprise yesterday, came staggering in through the front door heaving all my sewn fabric bags with groceries and promptly went into mum-nag-mode at lads for just *being* there! all lanky legs sprawled about the place looking untidy! and discovered David was here! complete with our new sparkly new pc!
Quickly switched into appreciative and kindly sister-mode and ignored the scowls directed at me throughout lunch from both sides of the dining table ..

Still finding our way around our new pc, we have Vista and it all seems quite different, somehow, but looking forward to using it with confidence after all our previous pc problems (fingers crossed).
Being super cautious I have opted to have NOTHING from the old pc put onto this one, we are starting again, afresh, as per day one! and dh is forbidden to do *anything*!
(managed to extract a confession from him that he might have actually selected something that suggested he wanted to revert to factory settings .. but as he gulped a bit and tried to back track when he realised I'd GOT my confession he was thrilled when my brother appeared to be also finding him the guilty party but was able to swiftly shift the blame onto NO.1.SON!!
we are now accusing no.1.son of being the *ONE* who is to be blamed (but only in jest! for really I know its the MMG who resides deep within my (old) pc and twiddles with knobs attempting to tune into the cricket ..)

Do you like the fancy wallpaper on my blog? I do!
Thanks, Jules, for commenting on it - I do like messing about with all things pretty!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Neat Fabric Folding tip

Thanks to my cyber-pal for posting this link I now have a super tidied quilt fabric drawer!
I wish I had an extensive stash that is colour co-ordinated like the video clip, but alas I've not been stashing that long! (actually there are FIVE more of these drawers heaving with untidied quilty fabric and about 3 bags of *bits* and scraggy ends - gulp!)

Such a simple idea but it really works!
Thanks Wilda for sharing this!

Coast, sock 2 is underway

Cast on for sock 2 in the yummy Coast yarn and ribbing complete and 3 repeats of the leg pattern done. I am resolved to finishing this sock before I begin another knitty project.

Pair of Earrings

A pair of earrings (on the right) to go with my new necklace!

Last night I decided to have a delve in the huge stash of pearls and beads that was my late Mother's and have a go at making some earrings.

I wasted a few of the post thingies in not quite getting the bend right to prevent the beads from falling off, I've a pair of blunt nosed pliers but not yet the knack of using them! These are a bit twisted but I'm sure under my long hair it will be unseen!

After a good rummage, I decided its TRUE! no matter how extensive your stash! you've never quite got exactly what you want/need! despite a huge box I find I need additional supplies! sigh ..this could get rather expensive!

Catching mice ..

Not, thankfully, real mice! but rather the cursor.. here is Bertie doing what HE does best ..

Excitement in the garden

well it started in the back garden!
moved inside the house!
thankfully, back outside to the front garden!

We thought the cats were up to something. Crowded around something. but couldn't SEE anything. Turns out it was a frog! they'd managed to find a frog! Lilly picked it up and ran off with it from under Bertie's nose and brought it into the house, luckily no.1.son spotted her and identified something in her mouth and alerted me!
Well! we were all hopping about and shrieking! we didn't know what it was at first! all curled up and looking very still! no.1.son managed to grasp Lilly and put her outside and we wondered what to do! just as dh decided to be brave and approach the "thing" .. it HOPPED! right up in the air! frightened the life out of him! HE was sat backwards on the stairs heaving slightly and feeling wobbly, no.2.son started SHRIEKING as he's decided he doesn't like creepy crawlies now he's discovered our house is actually FULL of spiders which come out after10pm andwhereas before he was always in bed before10pm, now he's older he's not!

(trying very very hard NOT to use the suggestion he get an early night in order to avoid SEEING the spiders too often just in case it triggers a phobia!)

No.1.son opens the door to see what all the fuss is about and thus lets Lilly back IN and we have HER dashing about the hall chasing this leaping frog toward dh who is showing signs of panic! no.2.son is calming down and manages to grab a mop which I thrust at dh, no.1.son catches Lilly again and puts her out AGAIN .. and no.2.son manages to open the front door .. and, thankfully, the frog decides to leap out of the door!

When I was about 5yrs I remember catching a frog and bringing it in to show my late Dad; he was busy at the time and I dropped it in the washing up bowl to show him later and forgot all about it. Until HE remembered the dishes and sunk his hands into soapy water and came up clutching a frog and SHRIEKED before nearly fainting! Did I get into trouble for that! but very funny!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A first jewellery project! (kit)

Remember the necklace kit I bought?

I made it up today!

Switching to the lads' bedroom to use their handy flexible lamp for assistance with the fiddly parts!

Above shows my finished necklace! hurrah! its GREAT and I'm wearing it now doubled about my neck and no.2.son admired it saying it looks *shop bought*! (he's very kind! he also made favourable comments about my pink/green Coast sock - although he was quick to add that did NOT mean he wanted me to knit/make HIM anything!).

I bought the kit as a confidence booster for a first project as I have wanted to make simple personalised jewellery for a while and thought this might start me off on the right footing!
I have several boxes of assorted bits and pieces for jewellery making as this is what my Late Mother did and I thought I'd sort through and try and use some of her/my stuff as it just sits there doing there and taking up space in my fabric cupboard this last 5yrs!

A bit fiddly, particularly the tiny rings, but after I moved into the more spacious and lit area it got easier and I rather enjoyed it and found it quicker than I anticipated too. I wish I'd spaced the beads a little more thoughtfully (I mean accurately!) but wrapped about my neck it all seems fine to me. The bead mat I bought for £1 at the last sewing exhibition was terribly useful as it held all the tiny parts while I fiddled and fumbled.

My sock is finished!

My sock is finished! hurrah! and remains flawed, I decided to leave it in and switched stitches to position it at the back just above the heel flap (those that want to can zoom in and laugh at my flawed patch, those that don't or can't spot it can zoon in anyway and drool over the YUMMINESS of my sock!)

A close up of the pattern and the heel flap stitches which are another combination from my more sensational knitted socks book. The yarn is lovely and its actually more a pink and green combination rather than the blue the pic reflects.

All I have to do now is cast on for sock 2 which I will later this evening!

I've been reading my Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock book lately for further inspiration on socks and quite fancy a lacey patterned one next!

Monday, 8 September 2008

My sock is flawed!

Blast! and just as I was getting into this pattern! look.. carefully .. lower right hand side, just a couple of blocks up from the needles .. see? and there is a worse patch on the reverse side which I'm not even looking/thinking at/about! grrr!!

THIS is what makes me sew cross with knitting and with myself in particular!
dead EASY pattern! and I've got it wrong and not even spotted it until way past the point of oh I'll just unpick a couple of rows!

Now. I'm hoping that I'll be more careful in the future and I can disguise the larger patch by switching my needles to have it on the back/heel side telling myself that NO ONE looks at my feet anyway and socks are worn under trousers too so it would have to be a fairly determined person to go about finding any such flaws .. but WILL I BE HAPPY, knowing its there?

If I do decide to unpick it, I honestly think I might unpick the lot and start afresh with another pattern ..

What should I do? vote in my poll what you would do if it were your sock and your flaw you'd spotted

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Good luck to the Creative Textiles class

If the new term hasn't already started, it will be due pretty soon, I'm guessing!

Good luck to tutor, Sarah Hazell, and my friends continuing with another year of yumminess and fun!

I did decide to have a break this year but in the spirit of all things start in September I shall be making a list of things I plan to work on and shall endeavour to be *creative*!

One thing I have decided on is that I shall make another quilt!

NEW sock is OTN's!

I can't think WHY I stopped knitting socks for so long! finishing off sock.2 jitterbug, made me decide to get another pair on the go and over this weekend I've rolled up my stashed Coast by Hipknits purchased at a Knitting and Stitch show (I shan't be going this year, work commitments are such that it would be difficult to fit it in around my friend's busy schedule as she plans a holiday to Australia shortly to have a reunion with a school pal who lives out there).

As you can see I've cast on! and enjoying knitting another pattern from the super book More Sensational Knitted socks the pattern I'm knitting is on page 88 and I'm being super organised this time in writing out what I'm doing and ticking off as I do it in the hopes that this makes me more inclined to pick up and finish what I might put down! (and then put off picking up again, due to having to spend time working out where I might have left off! which is what I think happened with my previous sock. ofcourse it will be different with THIS one! THIS one I shan't put down! ha-ha!!)

close up shows the lovely colours and the pretty pattern which is based over 5 rows and repeats over 6st's and is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Jitterbug Sock is complete!

I've turned the corner! and as you can see above, turned the heel on 2nd sock, Jitterbug yarn, at last! determined to get back to knitting and socks in particular with the weather turning I decided to get my sock finished and very pleased with it/them I am too!

I love the little heel turny bit, and as its been SEW long since I blogged this pattern originally, I've taken a photo that shows the lovely stitch I selected for the heel in close up, see pic below

Here above and below you can see my completed socks! I love these, the yarn is FAB! and the pattern also! The colour is not terribly true, its actually rather more raspberry in shade my photo's look a little bright, but you get the idea!

Talking of bright and not seeing colour quite the way I do, last week I finally took the plunge and had my hair dyed!
Hurrah! no more grey!
A week in and I'm nearly at the point of almost liking it! it still seems a little bright and dark all at once although I'm assured by friends who have been doing it for years that it does fade a little and that it takes at least a fortnight to overcome the *I hate it! what have I DONE!?* feeling when I catch sight of myself in a mirror and wonder WHO is that looking over my shoulder with the DARK hair!!
I'll try and get a photo taken and you can see for yourselves!

Dreadful Weather!

The rain has been torrential! today we should be enjoying a last day trip out to the Races on a coach trip from dh's work's socialclub only the meeting has been cancelled due to the course being severely waterlogged!

Yesterday we decided to go over to visit one of my brothers but had to turn back for home after the weather worsened and we drove through flooded roads that resembled rivers! at one point the drains had burst on one of our main roads in-city and were spouting torrents of water upwards and visibility was restricted.

Today is a little better and we shall make our way over later on!

He is in for a treat as we plan to take our hundred's of holiday photos!

Tomorrow sees a return to *normal* in our household, the lads return to school on Monday- hurrah!

This time of the year always sees us starting to think of Christmas and we've made a start on buying festive fayre which is a habit I started when I didn't work as the lads were born and money was tight - in those days I used to give it all to my Mother to keep for us for safety purposes but now that she's not here I just keep it at home! Seems to come earlier and earlier, we were still in August when the first of our local supermarkets started stocking aisles of Christmas Fayre which is far too early I think! lets at least get the central heating switched on! brrrr! it has been COLD this last week and yesterday we gave in and switched our gas fire on which is the earliest we've done and I'm not sure if its down to the changing weather patterns OR the fact that we're getting older! and thus less hardy! still, we see no reason to suffer from cold not least that knitting is harder with COLD and arthritic wrists!