Monday, 19 March 2012

WOW! how lucky am I?

WOW! how lucky am I?
yesterday a knock at the door - my brother turned up with an ipad under his arm! for me!
appears he has upgraded and generously gifted his original to me! how brill is that?
I had a lesson on basics to use, had it set up with all my main areas of interest ie Ravelry, FB, Twitter and the like and left to read the ipad instructions and have a go!!

Its taking me a while to get used to it as I'm not terribly good with these techie things, but already I've found my emails, posted to FB and downloaded patterns from Rav. library to view and I expect there is squillions of other stuff I can do to enhance my "knitting" experience of my new gadget!
tips? anyone?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

In the UK we are celebrating Mothering Sunday today and while I don't have a Mother (alive) of my own, I am infact a "mum" myself! to two lovely young-adult son's who no doubt see today as a bit tedious assuming they even remember or note the day!!

When my own Mother was alive, our tradition was to make up a basket filled with fresh fruits and deliver it to her in the afternoon and enjoy a small celebratory meal with home made cake & occasionally a glass of wine!  My brother would also make an appearance.  We kept this up even when I had my own children and indeed while she was alive, generally thought of "mother's day" as being HER day she being MOTHER.  I look forward to the day when my own son's "treat" me to a Mother's Day tradition but expect it will be some time off yet ..

Wishing all "mums" a happy mothering sunday and hoping you get cards, flowers or something nice from your own children ..

me celebrating with my late mother

Belated birthday greetings

At the beginning of March our no.1.son turned 19yrs and last week we visited him to celebrate slightly belatedly his birthday with a meal out and a  trip out to his "local" seaside beach resort!
It was lovely to see him again, even though we are due to collect him next week for his month's "holiday" for Easter we wanted to go down to take cards and gifts (money! what else? for an impoverished student?) see him and take him out for a meal.  My brother came along too for the ride as we had a spare seat in our car.
I took along my stripe scarf to knit while travelling down.
During the walk around the seaside my brother "joked" about the chances of my finding or coming across a "wool shop".  He ought have known better!  I promise I had nothing to do with it! entirely coincidental! In fact it was my BROTHER'S free choice as to which direction we walked .. smack into first a large fabric shop! and just around the corner a "wool" shop! hurrah!  I couldn't resist a couple of photographs to add to my blog!!

a smile! as the ££ drop out the envelope?
dh & brother.2 wonder how long till the pub?
no.2.son just wonders how long till go home!
lovely seaside view
dh tries to persuade me to stand on edge for photographic effect ..
looking out over the seafront
brother, dh, no.2.son and me
on the pier at Clacton-on-Sea
first we find a fabric shop
around the corner - a "wool" shop!
we find a pub!
and then we go for a nice meal here.
dh & no.1.son attempt to say the food is fab!!

Knitting : a sample garment

Recently I agreed to knit a sample garment for display at LYS Fibre Flurry at the request of the shop owner and here is my progress to date.

I have actually knitted a little more - I've reached the point of approaching the neck divide shape for the "front" but I thought these photographs would show the lovely pattern.
The pattern is Frill Edged Jumper, by Sian Brown and features in the book Rooster Book One.
And uses the lovely to knit yarn: Rooster Almerino dk, mc shade 208 x 11balls and cc shade 202 x 1ball.  There are some delicious shades in this yarn and you'd be spoilt for choice - I'm already seeking a pattern for a little toddler dress/cardi kimono styled to use 4 delicious shades in - just because its SO yummy!
This frill edged jumper comprises a contrast detail to finish and knits quickly to a surprisingly easy lace styled pattern over just 4 rows and makes a pleasant knit because in the main once you've memorised the pattern its just knit knit knit! all waist shaping is done by changing down needle size so no complicated working out of stitch decreases to "upset" the pattern as set!
All yarns and pattern/book can be purchased at the lovely Fibre Flurry shop or online and they currently have for one week a "spring sale" - check website out for details.  Or keep an eye out on the Ravelry group page.

My personal knitting has taken a back seat as I feel obliged to complete this project.  Apart from knitting the continental-knit stripe scarf in garter stitch I have put my other knitting aside but I can report that I've reached the interesting part of about to shape for the front/back yoke on my "killing" jumper!  I can't wait to return to this project, the yarn/wool is so lovely to knit with and the pattern is coming along really well.  its for this, and for the soon to be NEXT OTN'S project the lovely fairisle throw that I concentrated on perfecting my continental knitting with left hand so as to ensure a smooth even tension with two handed colour knitting.  I feel much more confident in this respect and can't wait to get started!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Knitting! and finished at that too!

OK I admit I've got rather more projects currently OTN's than I ought but I have in fact done some finishing too!
Here are some scarves:
More a sort of "neck warmer" to be honest, than a scarf but fun to knit none the less, the shade is actually a pale lilac which doesn't show terribly well in this photo.  Also, the photo suggests that its slightly more "scarf like" in length than it is .. well I like it anyway! if I were to knit another (or someone else where to express interest in knitting for self) I'd recommend 2xballs

Ready to be gifted a lovely stripe scarf knit fron imspiration here ..
I knit this when I ordered two balls of Wendy Merino for something that proved unsuitable in the end and I bought another ball after seeing the lovely scarf project and used this as my "I will absolutely crack learning to knit continentally if it kills me and 360 st very nearly did at first!"
There is nothing nicer - I feel, as a home knitter for leisure/pleasure - than hearing the words "cor! it looks SHOP BOUGHT!" ..
(other than, obviously - "you MADE THAT!?")
but I have to say the presentation does look rather nicer in real life than the photo shows and when no.2.son picked up the rolled ball of "scarf" and said "you MADE THAT! .. it looks SHOP BOUGHT! .." I very nearly ripped the carefully crafted "label" unravelled and wrapped it round HIS NECK! bah! steady now, mum! he added - backing away and thrusting said rolled scarf-gift back at me .. its NICE but I don't WANT it! ..
oh well. nearly. very nearly ..
still.on the plus side! after "knitting" for 360 stitches per row using up three whole balls of yarn later, I can now confirm I am ACE at knitting "continentally" (now all I have to do is crack the PURL!?)

Yarn purchases

I have to confess to buying an awful lot of yarn just lately!
For some reason the photo's in blogger are misbehaving and I daren't risk deleting and uploading again incase it completely gives up the ghost under strain of such large content! suffice it to say here are two of my most recent purchases!
A pair each of Rowan Fine Lace, shade 00926 and 927 purchased after a recent knit-club coffee morning at local John Lewis in which  the current "saturday" Rowan DC tempted us with a choice of free pattern with purchase - I selected the lace shawl but actually have other "plans" for it in a stripe sequence ..
I had occasion to attend the local Hospital and since my appointment was quick ("nothing" apparently "wrong" - sigh mutter mutter mumble .. again .. with me - despite "symptoms" say no more too tedious and boring to bother to say) I shot up off the bed in almost indecent haste at the prospect of having time instead to visit the nearby LYS at which I purchased the scrummy yummy and bright ball of Katia Darling!  quite what I shall do with it I don't know. yet.
I do have to comment on what a difference it makes to the "knitter's" experience when encountering the customer service from some of the different shops selling to the "knitter".
Recently I had occasion to return a set of knitpro dpns after one of them had a slight "fault" which meant it occaisionally "caught" the yarn and snagged - admittedly the owner did accidentally snap said needle while demonstrating that she HAD "found" the snag - BUT she had already flung a new set at me insisting I had a replacement before she had "found" the snag I'd reported - proving that she did believe me and that the customer is "always right" and deserving of having said goods exchanged.
Twice now I have had prompt and FRIENDLY service from online sellers when goods I'd ordered had not turned up - even though in fact it turns out I was at "fault" on one occasion in both instances the FIRST THING each emailed was their assurance that MY satisfaction was uppermost and that sorting out any duplications would be second to my complete satisfaction.
You really can't say more on that level of service can you other than to recommend to fellow knit-pals and continue to buy in future.
By contrast, the "treatment" I received from a large well know dept store with a haby dept housing the Rowan/Coats range was the complete OPPOSITE! to the point where I felt so dissatisfied at the level of customer service afforded to me that I emailed the store to express my "dissatisfaction".
Note I didn't "complain" I merely wished to convey that I felt that the level of service I had on the occasion of my trying to return 2xballs of PRISTINE Rowan yarns at a lesser cost than the two balls of Rowan yarns at a higher cost WITH a till receipt proving I had made the purchase and was frankly made to feel wrong in doing so!
Anyway.  The store Manager clearly didn't "get" what my actual dissatisfaction was and why their shop policy didn't "work" for "knitters" so I shall remember this when next I decide to make a purchase for Rowan yarns and my money will go into someone elses till!!
House of Fraser! you are a complete letdown!! bah. now I've said it! never mind.  I doubt they'll care ..

A lot of lazing about doing nothing (cats)

not me! obviously! although SOME (dh!) might think a lot of lazing about doing nothing occurs during the day but certainly there is a fair amount of sitting! and knitting!
Me wearing the recent colourscape looking somewhat pie-eyed and shapeless like I have sat around doing nothing all day!  I don't take a very good photo - unfortunately! but never mind ..
Better at the photo lark is our cats! and better at the lazing about all day doing not much is also not in dispute:
Bertie can't deny it!  he has been caught out! napping on the "new" furniture (note how nicely my knit project contrasts with the chocolate brown sofa? note too how this IS so MY colour! look out for knit-report on this ..)

Here you can see Bertie attempting to make himself smaller and invisible - he is so cute you just can't tell him off!  he knows he is in the wrong, how can you chuck him out?

Lilly is a scrap of skin and bones and fur and while she's rather more active usually than her brother, she too likes nothing better than curling up and shutting out the world for a cat-nap .. not so sure that being caught alseep on one of the lads' beds is any the "better" than being caught napping on the furniture BUT she seems to get away with it ..

BOOKS! knitting and baking

Ever since loaning this cook book from the local library I have had my eye out for a bargain price and recently The Works have had a tremendously good set of offers bookwise and I was pleased to see this at the local branch.
From the book:
Ginger Cake! scrummy yummy! this is a really easy recipe and best of all only requires one egg so is ideal for the end of the week ahead of shopping when kitchen is running low!  I think I've done it to death though - the family have asked that we have a "rest" from cake ....

DH requested I try my hand at making a mushroom soup. 
and no.2.son declared the variation on "minced meat pie" where finely chopped cooked onions and minced beef are spread over a rectangle of puff pastry, grated cheese atop rolled and sliced into "pin wheels" to be BETTER than the previously popular "classic minced beef 'n'onion pie" from the previously popular Jamie Oliver cook book!  seriously easy to "make" and quick to bake .. ideal for a family!
The book bargains didn't end there - no.2.son expressed an interest in The Hunger Games, trilogy and I was lucky enough to find the three books for sale at £5 the set!
Knitwise there were several books I could have happily bought but I decided to pick just the one:
based on seeing a lovely classic cardigan featured in this book at a recent knit-night and on finding that a nearly LYS is a stockist for the lovely Noro yarns! hurrah! now all I need is a SALE!