Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Some quilty fabric purchases!

Yesterday a cyber pal from the AFA group who is also a keen crafter - quilty and knitty - travelled down with her dh and we arranged to get together while she was here!
Luckily we were able to meet early enough on to have the whole afternoon together and at first we visited the lovely Cotton Patch shop which is just up the road from me!
We both resisted buying fabric - but succumbed to a super book!  and I fell in love with a sheepy pattern I think will turn into a nice bag!

I got some lovely bargains and was dead pleased when, while out in the town today, I found that the local Beatties (House of Fraser) were greatly reducing their cotton laminated lightweight material down from £22/m to just £7/m!
I bought a metre each from three all of which will be lovely for some of the gorgeous bags and sandwich "wraps" in the book!

Cotton Patch did have some reduced remnants, but they were still close on £10-£20 each! and I'm so pleased that I didn't buy them!
Although they have a lovely selection, at £24/m its just too much!

NOW all I have to do is match fabrics and trims and start SEWING!
which is what I feel inspired to do.
I don't feel I want to launch into huge projects, but think these will be a nice way back to easing self into a sewing mode again after all this time.
Don't get me wrong, I have used my machine from time to time, but not really for leisure enjoyment purposes ..

More knitting progress

First off the lovely felted bag!  I completely enjoyed knitting this! and when I ran out of yarn I was temporarily swayed into using bag "handles" instead of the knitted icord, but thankfully I was persuaded otherwise! and now I've finished, I'm rather glad I did knit them as per pattern instructions!

The bag is lovely! I use it for lightweight useage eg project bag to knit clubs - do you see the "feet"?
I'm still keeping an eye out for proper "purse feet" but in the meantime these studs are doing the trick!

Marlene is still OTN's! .. just! .. even though about a squillion and two people on Ravelry posted and blogged about the gauge issue I still la-laa-d their comments and persisted for 3 whole repeats on usual size 2.5mm .. sigh .. after struggling to get it over my ankle, and fearing the pattern was too stretched out, I ripped out completely and am reknitting on size 3mms which is at the top end of needle size for this yarn, and it fits a little better!
I would, I know, be better off using a different weight of yarn, but I love this pink! I wanted a pair of "pink Marlenes" so I'm putting up with it!

Two more pattern repeats, and then I can do the heel flap!

Nifty little gadget!
I bought this Prym product for keeping track across a row of charted pattern eg for fairisle a couple of weeks ago and I love it! SO SIMPLE! it just highlights the current row and is easily moved but stays in place for the duration!  A snip at £2.25?
(from House of Fraser if interested).

which leads on nicely to THIS!
To Tintaglia!  the shawl pattern and recommended yarn (in same colourway too!) purchased at last year's Fibre Flurry event - bought from the lovely pair that are Easy Knits!
super biffle, swamp thing .. yum!
I have ripped back the start twice before finally giving up on the chart and knitting from the written instructions instead!
dead easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy pattern ONCE you get it going!

Summer's here!

at LAST! summer seems to be here! how long it will last I don't know, dh is glumming about the place saying its all set to break this weekend! bah!
This weekend we are set to collect no.1.son from Uni!
Can you believe he's done his whole first year!?
Away from home! coping with everything - I think he's done terrifcally well! and matured/changed so much too for the experience!
Both our lads have now finished their respective exam commitments and apart from no.2son who still has to attend College in June for the "summer term" they are free from studying for a while and can relax ..

Bertie the cat is a little treasure and is never far from a comfy seat!
The minute no.2.son moved - he was onto it and claimed it for himself!
Lilly meanwhile rather sensibly keeps a low profile in the house - waiting for HER opportunity to sneak onto the furniture! she knows she's not allowed!

In the meantime, we've suddenly found not one but two ginger cats attempting to lay some claim on our garden for their own - so far Lilly has held her own (and Bertie has held onto his TAIL!) but you can see from above the body language says it all!

This particular ginger cat is the most intent on becoming part of the garden, he even comes up close to the patio doors!
but Bertie watches from on high atop the shed!

Birthday Celebrations!

.. and belated wedding anniversay too! .. we celebrated 19yrs this May - or rather the occasion passed us by! we don't, in fact, celebrate the occaision much as we don't generally "fuss" over birthdays etc (exception = our lads!).
Also this month, step father.2 celebrated his 70th birthday!
We all went out last Saturday for a meal to enjoy the occasion and here are some photo's

Monday, 21 May 2012

Knitting! scarf and lots of YARN!

HOW long has it been since I last blogged!
Where does the time GO?
In the time, I've managed to attend THREE knit group sessions! including a fledgling one that is local at a pal's house after the closure of the shop nearby!  A group of us decided we wanted to continue meeting up, and we're going to try for Thurs evenings and see how it progresses.
We met also for the knit-club at John Lewis that meets twice a month - lots of knitterly inspiration and a nice bit of friendly chat!
which is what I got, also, at the nearly-local "wool shop" where I visited to get another ball of the felted katia wool for my fairisle project "bag" after I ran out and a good friend of mine who IS the bag-queen tactfully suggested my substitution of a pair of handles wasn't quite "right".  SHE was right. And I returned for another ball!  today I shall review the section on knitting the icord handle and attempt to finish it off!
Did I say I'd got "feet" for my bag? I've got feet for my bag! lol!  pics will follow, I promise!

In the meantime, while at the shop I bought a reel of "Berties Bows" gosgrain ribbon printed with "knitted with love"! they had another one "hand made with love" too.  I've been looking for ages for something to attach to my knitting, and this is much cheaper than individual labels! cute!

They are having a "Marie Curie" day early in June - Sat 9th 10-4pm a "tea party" come and go, take part in charity fundraising and I picked up a ball of King Cole sock yarn that is being sold for charity for £5.50 - lovely orangey colours!  my feet at least will be fashionable this year?

FINALLY I finished my latest quick knit - Sylph Scarf - knit with one ball of Katia Darling bought from the shop ages ago, blocking to bring out the simple lace pattern - Sylph Scarf from the lace booklet accompanying issue 8 of Knit Now.

The pattern has errata so be sure to check before commencing!

I like Knit Now magazine and have bought a few copies, I'm still waiting to see how the debacle that is Yarn Forward/Knit magazine develops now that it seems that the magazine is newly taken over - again - we wait and see how it progresses with interest!!
Meantime I've resisted the good offer to subscribe, for now, because really I need to be cutting down! not increasing! sigh ..

Last week after another hospital appt, I popped into town and remembered that this group have a pop up shop in town and are looking for knitters to help by knitting 20x50cm rectangles to be joined into some sort of huge mammoth knitting initiative to cover .. well read about it HERE! its easier!
Anyway they are open from Wed-Sun afternoons and welcome visitors, helpers, people offering to knit and donations - I had a lovely chat with a pair of lovely ladies last week and have knit up 2 pieces already.  Quick knit, AND I managed to perfect my continental knitting style too!

I think BOTH ladies hot-footed it to House of Fraser, Birmingham, after I flashed my latest stash! two balls of the LOVELY Regia extra twist merino in gorgeous PINK that it turned out is HALF PRICE at just £2-50 a ball!
I returned to the shop and the Assistant rang up several colourways, and we decided that perhaps this is either a to be discontinued shade, or the shop is discontinuing it?  anyway, I have four balls and have CO for Marlene this weekend!  no pics yet, but I've just complete the first pattern sequence!

Its all sock yarn at the moment!
Last week or so, we had to take our no.1.son do a Dentist in Clacton (sedation booked for a root filling - don't ask! ouch!) anyway, while waiting for him, I popped - casually like! - into the LYS that had been closed the last time we visited - and found a treasure trove of a shop!
A real "old fashioned" traditional "wool shop" it really had a lot of LOVELY and keenly priced! ranges of yarn and I enquired about sock yarn to find the very sprightly elderly lady quick as a FLASH up a step ladder teetering confidently while flinging packs of REGIA at me!!
What a bargain!
I got 2 x balls of the green SunBeam sock yarn for £2 each!
And 4 balls of lovely grey and silver Regia for £3 each! bargain!
The shop took cash only and I had to hotfoot it down to the cash point, the lovely pair - wife and husband - kept the shop open for me and were a LOVELY couple, very friendly and insisted it was no trouble despite the fact they were obviously closing for "tea" - they lived, they said, above the shop and the shop IS their life!  These are the sort of good old fashioned "wool shops" that we used to have on our door step years ago, and low and behold! another!  we took a wrong turn! and walked STRAIGHT into a larger, more modern "wool" shop - but - again! about to close the husband INSISTED it was no trouble to keep it open while I browsed as they too lived on the premises and were doing "bookwork" anyway ..
I felt guilty for not buying MORE yarn but did pick up a couple of knitpro cables and a promise to visit later on earlier in the day on NEXT trip!  just have to HOPE can find it!
Silly me, I didn't make a note of the names of either so can't give credit to them that they both DESERVE, all I can say is the two wool shops in Clacton! and hope that if you visit or are passing, and see them do please make a stop and visit!

ok enough with the YARN! the pics probably don't show it, but the top is a grey, the bottom a silver! I've been looking for plain sock yarn, now I have plenty! all I need to do now is KNIT!

with Lilly! the cat.
the NAUGHTY cat.
she's a yummy!  she KNOWS is not allowed on the furniture.  I caught her out!
chocolate cake. FUDGE filled and topped CAKE.
what can I say?
this is what you call a proper chocolate cake?
Visiting the Dr on Friday he remarked I was "fatter than usual.  more so than last appt?" did I agree.
flaming cheek!
I'd packaged a couple of slices of my lovely ginger cake and flung the pack at HIM and remarked on HIS skinny frame!
eek! FLAT.  he said: FLATTER than usual? FLATTER in myself than LAST time!?
not FAT. then?
After a slice of this, though, I'm not so sure but HE looked a bit terrified and mumbled about lack of concentration and LISTENING carefully! bah.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Success! Claire Lomas finishes the London Marathon!

SUCCESS and very well deserved too, dh's Niece, Claire Lomas finally crossed the line and officially finished the London Marathon after 3 weeks of intense hard work under the steam of the new rewalk system allowing her to operate her legs into walking - hurrah!
It was this time five years ago in May, 2007 that her life changed but Claire has been so positive and so commited to the idea that she WILL walk and now she's gone and achieved it! (and much more!).
We visited just before she began the Marathon on the occasion of her lovely daughter's first birthday and while she was confident that she'd give it every last go using all her energy and strength and mental commitment she was concerned about whether she'd do it and whether people would support her!
She's had such terrific support! from the sporting communities and others and when it came out that due to a rule change she'd not be awarded an "official" medal for completing the Marathon a call went out by Sir Matthew Pinsent to athletes to donate a medal - and looking at this afternoon's BBC news slot she had a BOX of them on her lap!
Richard Branson has selected her to be awarded the trophy for 2012 to celebrate outstanding bravery and going the extra mile.

Claire has raised over £80,000 which smashes her estimate of some £50,000 for the Spinal Research Charity and money is still coming in which is marvellous!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

My Felted Bag

The last week or so I've been busy knitting and have now felted the lovely bag that accompanies the ebook on Fairisle knitting by the lovely Liat of Knit Freedom.
I ran out of yarn so had planned to perhaps use some handles but after careful consideration and much pinning and looking - walking away - coming back - looking - I had to conclude that my cyber-pal-Jan was RIGHT they are not right!
I have to wait now until after the Bank Holiday AND next week is extremely busy what with my trip to Hospital for the colonoscopy and travel down to take no.1.son from his Uni digs to the Dental clinic for his appointment prior to having a root filling with sedation .. sigh .. I could do without all that .. AND to top it all I don't think my medicines are working to my best!
I've had to drop the Iron and the Warfarin temporarily for the colonoscopy, but I've also dropped the ivadbradine too.

Inside my knitted bag

before felting
handles option discounted

after felting

lovely shape and patterning

blocking and drying
My bag is now almost dry and is holding its shape, it has a lot of body to it, but isn't completely rigid, this is my first experience of knitting with a yarn specifically designed to be felted and I put it in a 40deg wash with a towel as per instructions and it came out FELTED! VOILA! .. (thank goodness!)