Monday, 27 February 2012

Rams & Yowes blanket arrived

One of the kits I ordered in my "moment of madness" and spending spree of ordering off the internet lots of lovlinesses was THIS!  a glorious blanket I plan to casually "throw" over the back of my sofa (and woebetide ANYONE who leans against it! and if the CATS think can get their sharp claws out they can start looking for a new home ha!)
Slightly disappointed that one of the yarns was out of stock at the time, I opted to wait until it had come back in rather than accept a lighterweight substitute and I'm very pleased that I did!  the wool is lovely! all sheepy and yummy and it was well worth waiting just a short fortnight to get my hands on this.
The package is very well presented with a lovely pair of patterns (and sufficient yarn, so they say, to knit both) comprising the Rams & Yowes Blanket and the Sheepheid Tam and comes also with a lovely tourist guide to visiting Shetland and what to do/history etc.
Seeing the wool up close I would be very happy to recommend this company and I am looking forward to starting the project, albeit very nervous about the whole "steeking" issue.
Have put out an alert to hand-holding links, tips and suggestions to the group on Ravelry!
If anyone has any to suggest, please do comment this post, I would be grateful. x

Alfur - OTN's and then off. back ON off/on ..

.. and now back ON this time on 3.75mm dpns!
I have had so much trouble with "getting" this pattern right at the beginning due,mostly, to my lack of experience in starting knitting hats and after some frantic sounding shrieky messages at the Ravelry group for WoollyWormhead, I found it better to start off with dpns! 
Unfortunately one of them has a snag near the tip so I shall have to hope to be able to exchange it when I go to knit-night this week.
Too early to say am loving this pattern, but now that I've got the swing of it and is established I'm starting to feel better about it!

Alfur, the beginning on dnps

My Sarah Lund "killing" jumper ..

.. is coming on really nicely! and shaping up now that I've knit the first set of motifs and commenced the 2nd repeat ..

my killing jumper progress
I'm enjoying this project very much, so far its an easy knit and I'm pleased at how quickly it is progressing.  I've got the hang of using both hands now for the knitting of the two-colour motifs and this will be good practice for when I start working on my big project!

I'm surprised there aren't more people knitting this on Ravelry as it seemed to be very popular amongst knitters and I though now its available as a kit and pattern in magazine that there would be more interest.  Next planned is the "red" killing 2 jumper - at these sort of prices its well worth it to get a nice "winter woolly" at an affordable price.  The wool is lovely to knit with and I think it will be warm and cosy to wear.  I wonder if I'm the only person in UK at the moment to be scanning the weather forecasts hoping to fnd "a CCCOLDD snap is on its way .. wrap up WARM .."  ?

Well I shall wear this what ever the weather !!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Getting Claire walking

If you are able, please view this link for two interviews that dh's Niece, Claire Lomas, has given for ITV's Daybreak programme - she features around 6.40am and 8.06am ish along with her husband and beautiful new daughter recently turned one years.

You can read Claire's story here and follow progress on her blog.
If you can and feel you'd like to support her, she has a fundraising page here to accompany her pledge to walk the London Martathon in aid of Spinal Research.
Claire is so amazingly positive and deserves supporting.
You can watch Claire learning to walk in this marvellous "robot" suit here.
And follow her on Facebook too.
Buy her handmade jewellery or purchase a "riders revealed" calendar.
Ahead of her huge challenge of the London Marathon she is racing her daughter to see which of them will be the first to learn to walk and  Maisie is such a delightful little girl full of character and much loved, I hope they do it together!

edited to add this latest link which gives a bit more of Claire's remarkable story.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

there has to be CAKE!

apple pie
choc filled sponge
spiced shortbread
assortment of mini cakes filled
fat free "fryer"
Lets just leave it that there has been lots of baking.  lots of cakes, mostly chocolate due to no.2.son and's preference.  I was most impressed with the new chocolate "filling" sourced from a new cook book which went down a treat with the family and simple to make comprised of icing sugar and butter mostly.  The apple pie was a "new" to me recipe and went down well with dh who favours "pies".
Our expensive purchase of the month was the lovely Tefal fat-free "fryer".  what can I say? it works! I don't know how! but it does.  We've made "chips" and "pot-wedges" in it and while it IS expensive, we've wanted one for ages and decided to splash out and buy one.

Library books - knitting

bargain rowan books purchased in clearance
terrific all round book OF knitting bought Waterstones
some of the knit library books on loan

I'm pleased with the books I bought for patterns from Rowan and the "knitting" book is a good reference and I've practically read it from cover to cover and can recommend it!

I am definitely going to buy Textured Stitches! every page I turn I want to knit THAT! and THAT! ..

Finished: Solace colourscape chunky and cowl

FINISHED at the end of January: Solace knit in Rowan colourscape chunky - half price pack of yarn from House of Fraser and a cowl knit from a free handout at the local branch of John Lewis by the Rowan DC at the time, Ben.

I bought 4 long sleeved tops to go under this knit and got a bargain with those too!

The yarn purchases

I am sorry that my posts have all come at once in one go!
I will try to spread them out and more frequently than everything once a month not least for ease of writing! never mind reading.
Anyway, this last few weeks has seen me come by some super yarn bargains - here are what I can remember!

Kemps order
The lovely Kemps had some super yarn bargains and I couldn't resist getting some of their sock yarn which was a particularly favourable price!  Missing is another 2 balls of Sirdar big softee in a purple colour as it was out of stock at the time - I plan to knit this with them.

A close up of the yarns:

What can I say? I had to have them!

Also purchased:

Kid Classic

Silky Twist

Colourscape Chunky
I was particularly pleased with the Rowan Colourscape Chunky as it was reduced down to just £4.95/hank from local Hobbycraft - I bought 7 hanks and plan to knit something from the first book.

4ply cotton
sock yarn
 From Lidl last week I also picked up some bargain packs of yarn - above = two packs of 4 balls of 4ply "cotton" 2 of each colourway per pack, and a pack of 4xsock yarn - each pack was under £5 and good value for what it is.

Finished! "Joshua" and it fits perfectly!

Not only does it fit perfectly but I had more than enough yarn to complete the pattern including adding several inches to the overall length plus the sleeves too to suit my tall'n'skinny no.2.son's preferences.

Joshua, from The Knitter, issue 39, by Sarah Hatton.  Aimed at teenagers, my son agreed that this was a "nice looking jumper" and without too much persuasion he was pushed into agreeing that I could - if I REALLY wanted - knit this for him!
It took me a while to get to grips with the pattern mostly because of my funny memory problems I have since my experience with the 2nd catheter ablation for Atrial Fibrillilation in Sept '10 left me with a "clot" lodged at the back of one eye - I'm considerably improved now (with time, great healer?) but still get the odd "funny" and it can be frustrating when even a simple set of instructions just doesn't "stick" despite it being a repetitive one.
I added to the overall length and must have ordered "extra" yarn because I've got 1.5balls of MC left, and 1.25 of CC.
Do you think my Son looks smart i it?

A spending spree! bargain yarns

Inspired by fellow Raveller's and also knitting magazines' patterns I went on a rather mad and somewhat reckless spending spree last week and splashed out on a couple of knitting "kits" and some yarn and patterns too. 
I don't usually order online, but really some of the better deals not to mention terrific choices are only available from further afield than the LYS or Dept. stores and after a wobbly start I finally got my hands on MOST of what I've ordered and very pleased I am too (and with MYSELF! hurrah! for being "brave" and doing what I expect most knitters do routinely!).

First off - the lovely Julie inspired me to go for it and order the kit for the lovely Nordic Snowflake "killing" jumper - I had got the Knit issue 46, special nordic which contained the pattern and briefly toyed with subbing the yarn for another but after seeing the price of the "actual" yarn how could I not!?

A slight - cough - shall we say "mix up"? (ok, I confess! I input an incorrect post code in my order! blush!) meant that one week later I still hadn't received my kit and after a couple of email exchanges a 2nd parcel was sent and yes, you guessed, the FIRST arrived too. the very next day! annoying!  but to be fair, I hadn't realised it was delayed, and I could easily have left it a few more days and then if it hadn't arrived it would be awkward for reporting?
Anyway, the one good thing to come out of it (apart from reminder to CHECK the detail before closing eyes and pressing SEND -- send it now! send it to mee! -- SEND button) is that I've now found a really nice place to order from for the future - very kindly one half of the business owners called in on her way home from a nearby exhibition to collect the 2nd "spare" parcel and completely put me at ease about ordering "from strangers" and I'm now poised and ready to hit the SEND button the minute the 2nd "red" killing II kit comes up for sale!

I CO after careful swatching and knit the lower ribbed hem last night and am ready to do the first motif chart.  One of my brother's was kind enough to offer to blow up the charts for ease of reading/knitting and I now don't even need to wear my glasses!

hem for killing jumper

careful swatching
SECOND to be ordered is the lovely YUMMY kit that I've wanted to order for ages ever since reading about it and when it came up as a kit - on the same day! - I just had to have it!
Unfortunately one of the yarns was not available and I've opted to wait until it comes back in rather than have a substitute which was offered to me as an alternative yarn.  The email suggested a wait of approx a fortnight so with a bit of luck next week ought to see me looking out for it!

The NEXT order was this! isn't it adorable?  with two babies celebrating their first birthdays just weeks apart in my sil's family, I thought that this would be perfect to knit for them.
I've commenced the first using some left over Rowan purelife british sheep breeds dk from the scarf/union jack I knit earlier on.

Also OTN's is a nice fun knit project, a cosy scarf knit from one ball of Rico mini pompom that came in the final mad order placed this time with the lovely Kemps who also offer a very good and prompt service.  I followed the video instructions for advice on knitting this scarf from here.

Can't believe its been a whole month! tidy up ..

I can't believe its been a whole month since I blogged!
What have I done in this time .. loads! and spent loads ££ .. sigh ..
Baked lots and bought stuff ..
I ought to be more organised and blog more frequently as it happens.
Never mind - this week I decided to have a tidyup and sort out of my knitting notions and various bits and pieces which led me to consider sewing a stack of bags but instead! I decided to put to good use all the lovely cosmetic bags I've gathered (mainly Clinique ones from their gift sets/freebies with purchases etc that I can't seem to resist).

Most of them are ideal for notions and bits and pieces and I sorted them into piles and then decided that a lot of individual bags albeit neatly organised, would be too much to bring down to the lounge where I mostly knit - instead I decided to put them in one of the lovely boxes I had been using to store stashed yarn - now all I have to do is sneak it downstairs and site it carefully so as not to draw attention to it by the family who have tendancy to notice these things (isn't that why you have a sewing room!? to KEEP stuff IN?) ..

straight needles all sorted
knitting notions & circs, dpns etc sorted into cosmetic bags
all bags into one box!
I spent considerable time sorting out and marking where necessary all the dnps and circs that I have and putting them back into their bags and all my sewing up and crochet stuff too.